Wednesday, September 29, 2010


LONDON (Reuters) - Intelligence agencies have disrupted plans for multiple attacks on European cities by a group thought to be linked to al Qaeda, Britain's Sky News said on Tuesday.

Militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes in London, as well as cities in France and Germany, the channel's foreign affairs editor, Tim Marshall, said.

Asked about the Sky News report, U.S. security officials said they could not confirm that a plot had been disrupted. But they said they believed that the threat of a plot or plots was continuing.

U.S. counter-terrorism agencies are poring over intelligence reports suggesting a major attack plot is currently in the works against unspecified targets in Western Europe or possibly the United States, they said.

Four U.S. security officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that initial intelligence reports about the threat first surfaced roughly two weeks ago, around the time of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Sky News' Marshall said an increase in drone attacks in Pakistan in the past few weeks was linked to attempts by Western powers to disrupt the plot, which was at an "advanced but not imminent stage."

British security sources declined to comment on the Sky News report.

Britain in January raised its international terrorism threat level to "severe" -- the second highest level of alert in the five-tier system.

The head of Britain's MI5 Security Service, Jonathan Evans, said on September 16 there remained "a serious risk of a lethal attack taking place."


The Eiffel Tower and the surrounding Champ de Mars park were briefly evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb alert, the fourth such alert in the Paris region in as many weeks, but a search turned up nothing, police said.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said on September 20 France faced a real terrorism threat due to a backlash from al Qaeda militants in North Africa, with fears growing of an attack from home-grown cells within French borders.

Citing unidentified intelligence sources, Sky said the planned attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai by Pakistan-based gunmen in 2008.

The heavily armed militants launched an assault on various targets in Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal hotel and the city's main train station.

The United States appeared to have widened drone aircraft attacks against al Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan and might have killed a senior leader of the group, Pakistani and U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

U.S. officials declined to comment on specific plots in Europe or elsewhere but acknowledged that targeted drone strikes in Pakistan were meant to disrupt militant networks planning attacks.

"It shouldn't surprise anyone that links between plots and those who are orchestrating them lead to decisive American action," a U.S. official told Reuters.

"The terrorists who are involved are, as everyone should expect, going to be targets. That's the whole point of all of this."

The U.S. national security officials said that most of the threat reporting suggested that the targets of whatever plots were under way were in Europe. One of the officials said, however, that there was particular concern that U.S. interests in Europe might be targeted.

Two officials also said that they could not rule out the possibility that some of the threat reporting could relate to attack plots under way which might be directed at targets inside the United States. One of these officials added that the intelligence reporting was tangled and could mean that more than one plot has been set in motion.

U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper declined to comment directly on any European plot but stressed that al Qaeda remained committed to attacking Europe and the United States.

"We are not going to comment on specific intelligence, as doing so threatens to undermine intelligence operations that are critical to protecting the U.S. and our allies," Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris, Estelle Shirbon and William Maclean in London, and Philip Stewart and Mark Hosenball in Washington; editing by Andrew Dobbie and Frances Kerry.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Andrew Seymour, Postmedia News · Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010

OTTAWA — The first of three Canadian men accused in connection with an alleged homegrown terrorist plot has been granted bail.

The reasons for Justice of the Peace Louisette Girault’s decision to release Misbahuddin Ahmed, on what are expected to be several strict conditions, are covered by a routine publication ban.

The 26-year-old X-ray technologist showed no emotion except to slightly nod his head when Girault granted him bail. Ahmed, seated between two RCMP tactical officers, kept his arms crossed while staring intently at Girault during the roughly 30-minute hearing.

The conditions he will have to follow were to be determined later Tuesday.

Girault’s decision followed a day and a half of evidence and arguments at a bail hearing that began Sept. 15.

The decision to release Ahmed comes one day before a bail hearing for another of the terror accused, Khurram Syed Sher. The 28-year-old London, Ont. doctor’s bail hearing is expected to take three days.

A third man, the alleged ringleader Hiva Alizadeh, 30, is next scheduled to appear in court Thursday. He has yet to request a bail hearing.

The three men are accused of conspiring to facilitate “terrorist activity” between February 2008 and Aug. 24 this year. Alleged co-conspirators include at least three other people who have been named, but not indicted, plus other unknown people in Canada, Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan.

The alleged plot was in its early planning stages and “months” away from being operationally viable, the RCMP said shortly after the arrests.

Ahmed and Alizadeh are also facing charges related to possessing or making explosives to help a terrorist group. Alizadeh alone is charged with making available property or financing to benefit a terrorist group.

Ottawa Citizen

Read more:


*** I want him to spend the rest of his life condemning terrorism: setup a website, post on blogs, speak by video link if you have to, study liberal arts ... all of this will be beneficial to everyone. MS ***

Megan O'Toole September 28, 2010 – 1:24 pm

UPDATE, 1:24 p.m. ET: The judge has reserved sentencing Ahmad until Oct. 25.

The defence is calling for 10 to 12 years of jail time for Fahim Ahmad, the convicted ringleader of the “Toronto 18″ terrorist group.

In delivering sentencing submissions this morning, defence lawyer Dennis Edney painted his client as a self-aggrandizing talker who lacked the means, and the willpower, to cause genuine harm to Canadian citizens.

“At no time… did Mr. Ahmad ever mention a single detail, a real detail of how he intended to carry out any attack,” Mr. Edney said, calling Ahmad “a sad and pathetic young man whose fantasies caused great shame to him.”

Police dismantled the Toronto 18 in June 2006, and the court has since heard details of the homegrown group’s plot to storm Parliament and detonate powerful truck bombs in downtown Toronto.

The proposed defence sentence is substantially lower than the 18-year prison term the Crown has called for. Ahmad faces a maximum life sentence for his role in the terrorist plot.

More to come

Read more:


*** EXCELLENT job CSIS: in looking for an propagandist, you found an actual pervert instead - the latter is worth a lot more in my book. Hope this is not thrown out of court. Waiting for the CSIS-put-it-on-my-computer claim. MS **

A Brampton Muslim leader charged with possessing child pornography says he was forced by CSIS agents, obsessed with the idea that he was a terror propagandist, into handing over his computer for a search.

“I said, ‘You don’t have permission to take it,” Ayad Mejid testified Monday.

“They said, ‘If we want we will get permission. We will go in your house in front of your neighbours and your children and we will take it,’ ” he told his lawyer, David Kolinsky.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service suspected the Iraqi-born Canadian citizen of being Abu Banan, an online Islamist propagandist preaching hatred against the West.

Mejid, a 47-year-old father of three, is charged with possessing, making and distributing child pornography.

He is challenging the October 2007 search of his computer by CSIS agents, which allegedly turned up images of young girls engaged in sex acts.

He is arguing that his rights against unreasonable search and seizure were infringed.

He has previously told the Star that he has no knowledge of any child pornography.

Mejid alleges in an affidavit that a CSIS agent pressured him to contact people of interest to the spy service and, when he refused, threatened to tell his wife that he was cheating on her and that he was interested in teenagers.

Crown prosecutor Michally Iny suggested that Mejid readily agreed to hand over the computer to clear his name of any terrorism suspicions.

“I was forced to give it to them,” he insisted.

A CSIS technician, whose identity cannot be reported, testified that he made a copy of the hard drive from Mejid’s laptop after it was brought to him by an agent to examine for evidence of terrorism links.

The technician, who testified on the other side of two screens to protect his identity, said that after subjecting the hard drive copy to analysis by forensic software, he stumbled upon child pornography videos.

They were stored under the user’s “My Documents” folder and readily available, the technician testified.

He said he looked at three of the videos.

“I saw a child actually performing oral sex on a man; another one had a little girl on a bed. She was naked at the time. And another one had a young girl having intercourse with a man.”

He said he made a second copy of the hard drive, which was given to Toronto police.

The trial without a jury, in front of Ontario Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly, continues Wednesday.


*** There is no doubt he will do time for his actions. His grandiose plan was chilling even though there was absolutely no chance his band of brothers could successfully storm parliament, behead all the MP's including the PM, force the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan ... and so on.

Anyone with half an ounce of knowledge of the operational capabilities of these men knows this to be totally beyond the realm of possibility. HOWEVER, the crime is not "terrorism on a grand scale" it is ANY kind of terrorist endeavour, no matter how unachievable. It is the intent and supporting action - the call to arms against our society, our country - that cannot be tolerated.

What is more realistic than the plot is to realize that not all of these young men are hardcore killers like Taliban and Al Qaeda. As a society, we have constructed this category of homegrown terrorists as necessarily incapable of reform - which is not correct. It is based on too many assumptions that do not withstand the scrutiny of logic and facts. As much as some may WANT to believe they are all beyond repair, it is not supported by the reality on the ground.

There is quite a bit of evidence that deradicalization programs do work - if you will take the time to read what the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence has concluded - in partnership with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) - perhaps we can use this opportunity to generate data from a wholly Canadian context, thus adding to the discourse and proving how Canada operates in the global context.

MS ***

Isabel Teotonio Staff Reporter

The “inspirational leader” of the Toronto 18, who “poisoned” the minds of young men and tried to develop “a band of jihadist warriors,” should be sentenced to 18 years in prison, a prosecutor told a Brampton court Monday.

While making submissions at the sentencing hearing for Fahim Ahmad, who organized training camps and plotted to storm Parliament Hill, prosecutor Jason Wakely said an appropriate starting point for such an offence is a life sentence.

But he suggested a lesser sentence is more fitting, given various mitigating factors such as Ahmad’s guilty plea, support from family, renunciation of violent views and his status as a youthful first-time offender when arrested in June 2006 at age 21.

The Crown proposed Ahmad be given two-for-one credit for time spent in pre-trial custody, which amounts to eight years and seven months of time already served.

Aside from the potential harm planned by Ahmad’s group, its mere existence is “a crime against our society that cultivates fear and insecurity,” said Wakely.

“While it was not the most well-honed sophisticated group imaginable, it was not bumbling,” said Wakely, adding the group made efforts to acquire firearms. “Ahmad was trying to develop a band of jihadist warriors, recruit them, indoctrinate them, train them.”

Ahmad’s violent Islamist views “poisoned” the minds of his co-accused and inspired a spinoff plot by Zakaria Amara, who plotted to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto, said Wakely. Amara was sentenced to life in prison in January.

Ahmad’s lawyers will make submissions Tuesday. But the defence has already submitted to the court a psychiatric report that states Ahmad poses a low risk to reoffend, as well as numerous letters written by Ahmad and his friends suggesting he has renounced his views.

“I’ve made so many mistakes and wronged so many loved ones,” writes Ahmad in a letter, adding his only solace is that no one was hurt.

Ahmad also said that while incarcerated he has been counselled on a weekly basis by two imams who have helped him restructure his “distorted thinking.”

According to another letter, a friendship with a Jewish inmate also helped Ahmad realize the error of his ways.

Ahmad pleaded guilty in May to participating in a terrorist group, importing firearms for the group, and instructing co-accused to carry out an activity for a terrorist group.

Court has heard Ahmad described as both a “time bomb waiting to go off” and a “fantasist,” who wanted to take politicians hostage until they gave into his demands to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Monday, September 27, 2010


*** Evil Christian doctrines like help the sick and needy. Infidels! MS ***

Alshahid – 08 September 2010

Somalia rebel group Al-Shabaab instructed the World Vision organisation to close healthcare cenres and cease aid work in the Bakool and Juba regions. The World Vison healthcare centres were engaged in the prevention of tuberculosis in Somalia.

The group closed over ten hospitals that were sponsored by World Vision in many parts of the city, accusing the organization of propagating Christian doctrines.


Alshahid – 13 September 2010

An American national allegedly connected Al-Qaeda linked terror group has been killed in Somalia according to intelligence sources. The fighter, a Somali-American man known as Dahir Gurey Sheikh Ali Guled, was found dead in Mogadishu after a street battle between the militant group Al-Shabaab, and pro-government forces.

A US official told ABC News that Gurey was believed to be an American citizen who arrived in Somalia earlier this year, but cautioned that the US government has not independently confirmed Mr. Gurey’s death or nationality. Somali officials said the
man had documents on him that indicated he was American.


*** A bit player goes home. MS ***

BRAMPTON — One of the final men convicted in the Toronto 18 terrorist plot is set to become an officially free man next week.

Asad Ansari, 25, was convicted in June of participating in the terrorist group, which plotted to storm Parliament and detonate powerful truck bombs in downtown Toronto.

“He was the technical expert of Fahim Ahmad’s terrorist group,” Crown attorney Sarah Shaikh said this morning during Ansari’s sentencing hearing in Superior Court. Ringleader Ahmad, 26, is also embroiled in sentencing proceedings today.

Both the Crown and the defence are calling for Ansari to be sentenced to time served, and Justice Fletcher Dawson has indicated he will accept their submissions. His formal decision will come down Oct. 4.

With two-for-one credit taken into account, Ansari has effectively served six years and five months of prison time. He has been on strict house-arrest bail since August 2009, and Justice Fletcher Dawson said it would be “a real hardship” to send him back to prison at this juncture.

“I think that would be unfair,” Judge Dawson said, noting “it’s obvious [Ansari] is taking steps to undergo his education and rehabilitate himself.”

Defence lawyer John Norris said his client has been taking courses and is “moving his life once again in a very positive direction.”

Ansari has been characterized in court as a minor player in the Toronto 18 plot. He attended a terrorist training camp in the winter of 2005, but says he did not know its true purpose at the time.

The Crown disputes that contention, pointing to various militaristic activities at the camp and the presence of a black-and-white jihadi-style flag.

“When he saw the black flag… He certainly would have known by that time that he was attending a terrorist camp,” Ms. Shaikh said.

She also pointed to evidence of how Ansari, a technical whiz, assisted Ahmad by clearing terrorist material and malicious software from his computer: “He essentially wiped [it] clean.”

The defence and the Crown are both recommending a three-year probationary term for Ansari, but there is some dispute over how stringent the conditions should be — a matter the judge will resolve when he hands down his final decision next Monday.

Read more:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


*** I DO agree that Mr. Amara is very remorseful but that's only because he got caught. He not only dragged the process through the courts unneccessarily but deceived the public while doing so - trying to quote Plato and the like to show how smart he was. He lied to everyone for YEARS - put his family and community through traumatic events. It was only when he (and his lawyer) realized they would be hammered at trial did they give it up.

What I also find particularly interesting is how quickly his "deradicalization" came about while in general population. My question is: was isolation not enough for you to take the time and do the same? WHY the issue of pleading guilty being resisted?

I DO agree that he was young at the time and that young kids do & say stupid things but Mr. Amara took steps that showed dedication and resolve in bringing the kind of death and destruction I do not even WANT to imagine but I HAVE to imagine this is what he wanted. WHY could he not have ceased and desisted knowing full well that CSIS was on him, that the RCMP was on him - WHY did he have to keep going?

THESE are questions that should be asked of HIM - directly not through paperwork and cleverly worded motions. I want to look into his eyes and ask him myself.

IF anything, there is a comprehensive deradicalization program that should be court-ordered and based on reliable and scientific evidence that works using the best resources available. Let us take Zakaria up on his offer to spend the rest of his life (trying to) make it right and subject him to long-term study - I'll sign the fatwa saying we can study his brain after he's passed on.

These oaths taken will be monitored both in this life by government authorities and in the Next Life by The Divine Authority Himself.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: Mr. Amara is lucky he is not in a Muslim country - he would have been executed a long time ago. MS ***

The ringleader of the Toronto 18 should not have received the maximum sentence because he was young when he plotted to cause mass carnage by detonating truck bombs and is now sorry, Ontario's top court is being told.

Zakaria Amara, 25, pleaded guilty to knowingly participating in a terrorist group and intending to cause an explosion for the benefit of a terrorist group and was handed the maximum sentence -- imprisoned until he dies unless he's granted parole -- under Canada's anti-terror laws.

He can apply for parole in 2016.

The Court of Appeal for Ontario is set to hear an appeal Tuesday from Amara. In documents filed with the court in advance of the hearing his lawyer argues Amara should have been sentenced to between 18 and 20 years, instead of an indeterminate life sentence.

"The judge allowed the seriousness of the crime to overwhelm the sentencing analysis, unfairly discounting the significant mitigating factors that were present," lawyer James Lockyer writes.

The judge did not give enough weight to many factors in Amara's favour, including that he pleaded guilty, was young -- 20 at the time of his arrest, had no criminal record and was remorseful, Lockyer writes.

At his sentencing Amara read an open letter to Canadians expressing his remorse.

"I have no excuses or explanations," Amara said. "I deserve nothing less than your complete and absolute contempt."

He told the judge that no matter how long it takes he will "produce actions that will hopefully outweigh the actions that I once took towards hurting others," he said.

"Give me a chance that one day I will be able to pay the moral debt I still owe."

The judge accepted that Amara appeared to be remorseful, but didn't give it any weight, Lockyer writes.

"Indeed, this was perhaps the most significant of the mitigating factors, for it showed a clear repudiation of the extremist philosophy which underlay the appellant's criminal enterprise, and should have weighed heavily in the balance in favour of the appellant," Lockyer writes.

But the Crown notes in its submissions that Amara clung to his extremist ideals for three years in jail and that his renouncing those beliefs is relatively recent.

"Put bluntly, the appellant was willing, able and eager to plot the cruelest sort of atrocity against other people, without qualm," the Crown writes.

"Common sense tells us that this is neither a normal condition, nor one from which a quick and easy recovery seems likely."

Amara was arrested along with 17 others in the summer of 2006 and the group came to be known as the Toronto 18. Eleven of them were ultimately convicted.

Amara sought to impose his political and religious will on all Canadians through carnage and took steps to maximize the harm his bombs would inflict, and his sentence is an appropriate one, the Crown writes.

"Everything about this offence -- the intention, the motivation, the preparation and the potential consequences -- cried out for keeping the appellant under permanent penal supervision," the Crown writes.

"Imposing that sentence despite the presence of certain mitigating factors is not an error, but rather a recognition that the weight of the appellant's criminal acts was just too great to allow for anything less."

The Appeal Court is also set to hear an appeal Tuesday concerning Saad Gaya, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but with time served he could be eligible for parole next summer.

The Crown is appealing that sentence, asking the Appeal Court to add five or six years to the sentence and make his period parole ineligibility half the sentence or 10 years, whichever is less.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It is no great surprise that the National Parole Board thinks convicted Canadian terrorist Ali Dirie is nowhere near safe to release. Why would he be? He was the would-be ringleader of the Toronto 18, whose members plotted to kill large numbers of their fellow Canadians in cold blood, and he will serve just 4½ years in jail, even after parole was denied to him.

Mr. Dirie’s case is a good reminder of why the often laudable judicial tendency to give offenders a second or third chance should be overtaken in future terrorism cases by the need to protect society. If Mr. Dirie is not safe to release under supervision with one year left in his sentence, the chances are slight he will be safe to release when the sentence expires.

The Toronto plotters intended to set off bombs in crowded buildings and to take politicians hostage, an attempt to intimidate Canada into changing its foreign policy on Afghanistan. If Mr. Dirie hadn’t been in jail already (for taping two loaded handguns to his thighs and trying to smuggle them into Canada), he would have been the group’s leader, according to intercepted telephone conversations revealed at his trial. Do the math, Canadian-justice style: A seven-year sentence, minus double credit for the 30 months already served equals two years till freedom. Two years (or even 4½) is not a punishment; it’s more like the cost of doing business, and cheaply, at that.

Now 27, Mr. Dirie has a criminal record stretching back many years. He is a chronic criminal who graduated to terrorism. He has committed 16 criminal offences (including two for escaping custody) and been sentenced six times. For his gun-smuggling offence, he received two years in jail, which is not sufficient for someone who already had several weapons convictions on his record. During that time in jail, he tried to recruit other inmates, and continued working for the terrorist group, trying to obtain more guns and false passports. That behaviour during his first penitentiary sentence should have been a red flag when he was later convicted as a terrorist that he needed to be locked away for a good long time.

Chillingly, the parole board said it has “reliable information compelling the conclusion that you are planning to commit an offence causing the death of or serious harm to another person before the expiration of your sentence.” It also said he has offered “no remorse, empathy or concern for the innocent people were to be targeted by the terrorist attacks/plans.” It is discomfiting that Mr. Dirie is due to be freed a year from now. Ali Dirie is a lesson in what happens when the Canadian predilection for second chances meets up with committed terrorists.


*** Aint gonna happen. Speaking truth to power is a big no-no with this meanie government. I do not hide my disdain for this style of administration and this is why I too, have paid the price. MS ***

OTTAWA - Former Canadian soldiers don't want the voice of war veterans silenced just yet.

A petition circling some legion halls urges the Conservative government to keep popular veterans ombudsman Pat Stogran on the job awhile longer.

The Tories have said the retired colonel's three-year contract won't be renewed this fall.

But the petition makes it clear the veterans want Stogran to stick around. Among other things, it calls on the government to "renew the mandate of the Veterans Ombudsman, Col. Pat Stogran"

The petition will be sent to Parliament once it makes its way through the legions.

Stogran, a former ground commander in Afghanistan, has been speaking out in public and on Twitter to highlight the plight of many veterans and wounded soldiers.

He held a news conference last month, flanked by wounded veterans, and blasted government officials and bureaucrats for letting down those who put life and limb on the line for their country.

Stogran accused Veterans Affairs of adopting a "penny-pinching insurance company mentality" toward its clients.

The ombudsman was grateful when told about the petition.

"I'd be the first one to say that it's not about me." Stogran said, noting what matters to him is that veterans get what they deserve.

"I'm really thankful to everybody for doing it, but what it demonstrates to me is that Canadians are concerned about our veterans."

The petition also calls on the Tories to address a central complaint of veterans, the new system of lump sum payments and income replacement. Veterans want the government to restore the post-Second World War practice of granting them lifetime pensions.

A study commissioned by the veterans ombudsman and obtained by The Canadian Press last month, took aim at existing lump sum payments, which can be up to $276,000 for the most severe injuries.

The study concluded that the one-time payments — the hallmark of the New Veteran's Charter — unfairly treated low-income soldiers and the most severely disabled veterans.

Injured soldiers are given a lump sum cash payout and a monthly income replacement cheque while they are in rehabilitation. The cheques stop when they transition to a civilian job.

It's been suggested in order to help soldiers of the lowest rank, the size of the monthly income replacement could be increased. The replacement cheque amounts to 75 per cent of a soldier's pre-injury salary.

On Sunday, Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn and Defence Minister Peter MacKay held a news conference where they announced a plan to boost monthly payments to seriously wounded soldiers.

The five-year plan includes an additional $200 million over the next five years for the most seriously wounded troops.

The improved benefit package would see the most seriously wounded veterans get an additional $1,000 each month for the rest of their lives. That amount will be on top of 75 per cent of their salaries and a permanent monthly allowance of $536 to $1,609.

But despite the announcement, some veterans said they're still waiting for the Tories to address their main complaint about the lump sum payments.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who fought for improved benefits for wounded soldiers, accused the Conservatives of fumbling the veterans file.

"There's a lot of issues out there dealing with the walking injured, as well as those who have injuries that don't just involve body, but also mind," he said.


*** CSIS collects information in support of identifying threats to Canada and it seems this is exactly what they were doing in Afghanistan so I don't see the issue here. And it sounds like a really, really stupid idea to be sending them to Afghanistan and not be armed when talking to those, "unfriendly at best". MS ***

OTTAWA - Canada's spy service admits interrogating up to 50 Afghan prisoners captured by the Canadian Forces, but insists they were never mistreated, federal documents reveal.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service's involvement in interviewing suspected Taliban fighters alongside military intelligence officers was revealed by The Canadian Press last March, though details of the agency's role and actions have remained largely cloaked in secrecy.

Briefing notes prepared for CSIS director Dick Fadden take pains to emphasize the conduct of agents has been above reproach and that the spy agency is bound "in every instance by the law, ministerial directives and internal policies."

The documents, obtained under the Access to Information Act, were drawn up to brief Fadden for a June interview with the CBC, but the broadcaster did not ask him about the role of CSIS role in Afghanistan.

"CSIS officers have been serving alongside the Canadian Forces and willingly share some of the risks faced by our soldiers," say the notes, which acknowledge the spies were armed.

The briefing materials lift the curtain ever so slightly on the agency's activities, but also raise more questions in the mind of a legal expert.

University of Ottawa law professor Errol Mendes said the notes raise the spectre of spies travelling along with soldiers in combat — or perhaps taking part in ultra-secret special forces operations. Such actions may be beyond CSIS's legislated mandate, he said.

"We've got to look at that very carefully and ask many more questions," said Mendes. "Intelligence gathering is absolutely within the mandate of CSIS, but actually going out on missions is a legal issue as to whether it's within their jurisdiction."

The notes say CSIS personnel in Afghanistan have been authorized to carry guns because "they are often required to meet individuals — some who would be described as unfriendly at best — in very dangerous situations while carrying out their work" in the region.

The Canadian army is thought to have captured hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters over the last nine years of operations in Kandahar. Recent reports indicate that since 2006 almost 500 have been handed over to Afghan authorities.

CSIS questioned Afghan detainees from 2002 through late 2007, when the military began to conduct interrogations without assistance, Michel Coulombe, the service’s assistant director for foreign collection, told the Commons special committee on Afghanistan in May.

"CSIS did interview a small number of suspected Taliban insurgents captured or in the custody of the Canadian Forces — approximately 40 or 50," say the CSIS notes. These interviews were designed primarily to determine the identities of the individuals. Decisions to transfer suspected Taliban insurgents to Afghan authorities were not made by CSIS."

Mendes said if the numbers are accurate they indicate the spy service limited itself mostly to operations by Joint Task Force 2 — JTF-2 — the army's highly trained commando and counter-terrorism unit.

Those operations would have been directed at al-Qaida suspects operating in Afghanistan, senior Taliban commanders and the leaders of bomb-making cells.

The spy service's mandate is flush out direct security threats to Canada and the note insists that at no time did the agency cross the line during interrogations as the CIA admits to doing. CSIS said it does not use coercive techniques, such as waterboarding, where a person is subjected to simulated drowning.

The spy agency also appears to deny knowledge of alleged torture by Afghan authorities of some prisoners handed over by Canada, currently the subject of several inquiries.

"While CSIS is aware of media allegations of mistreatment of Afghan detainees, we have no reliable proof of mistreatment or torture of detainees," the notes say.

"CSIS has not and does not mistreat those it interviews, nor does it assist or counsel others to do so."

Previously released records showed the intelligence agency was undertaking an internal review of its involvement with detainees for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

CSIS spokeswoman Isabelle Scott cited confidentiality in declining to discuss the review or the latest briefing notes.

The documents say Aghanistan and the neighbouring region is, and will remain for some time, the epicentre of al-Qaida core leadership and a source of real threats to Canadians.

"I cannot say if CSIS will remain in Afghanistan post-2011," add the notes prepared for Fadden's use, "but I can say that the Service will certainly continue to investigate these threats and will remain actively interested in this region."

Scott would not comment further on the possibility.


*** Missing teeth? That would assume it HAD teeth to begin with!

The travesty of having a federal police force that killed a man (a white man on top of that) who had just arrived in Canada, lied about it from the get-go, conspired in the making of notes, tried to confiscate a bystander's camera who had recorded it, resisted efforts to charge the officers, have federal officers lie to a judge in an inquiry (Braidwood) and continue to support them --- is enough to tell any sensible, responsible administrator that there IS no watchdog, let alone one "missing" teeth. MS ***

OTTAWA - The former head of the RCMP watchdog says the body would still lack the bite needed to fully investigate scandals like the Maher Arar affair under recently tabled legislation.

Paul Kennedy says a long-awaited bill intended to modernize the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP gives the top Mountie and Public Safety minister too much room to meddle in sensitive probes.

Kennedy, who was commission chair for four years, says the bill tabled in June would give the complaints boss only limited access to the information he needs to see.

The current watchdog is widely seen as wanting because it does not have complete access to information in RCMP files, and it lacks the power to review or audit the police force's programs and policies.

The bill tabled by the Conservatives would give the commission greater access to RCMP information and beef up its investigative arsenal, including the power to compel witnesses, evidence and materials.

But Kennedy argues the legislation is so riddled with loopholes it could leave the watchdog in the dark.


*** Still the biggest act of terrorism against Canadians in our history.

CSIS / RCMP issues still remain - such is the nature of organizations tasked to collect/analyze/disseminate intelligence products in competition with one another. Thankfully Canada has only a handful of such agencies and when you look at the U.S. with its massive bureaucracies, it should be sufficient to convince us to be very cautious about engaging in national security while in competition with one another.

Air India was a national tragedy for Canada and it remains so because lessons are truly not learned. A government report by virture of issuance cannot correct the inherent flaws to be found in large bureaucracies, especially those MOST resistant to change (police, military types). Change must come from within, which requires a recalibration of mindset and perspective. The question is: does the will to do so exist? MS ***

VANCOUVER - Convicted bomb maker Inderjit Singh Reyat didn't flinch when he heard the word "guilty" in court Saturday, nor when a judge said he'd be held in custody pending a sentencing hearing for a perjury conviction.

Reyat, 58, has spent almost a quarter century in and out of prison, and in November he will likely learn he'll be serving more time behind bars after two prior convictions related to the 1985 bombings.

His third conviction could be the last chapter in the Air India saga, a tragedy of unmatched proportions in Canadian history, but one with a most unsatisfactory ending because others believed to be involved in the disasters that killed 331 people have not been held responsible.

Reyat, a bespectacled Sikh who wears a turban and has a long greying beard, told court in 2003 at the trial of two other men facing mass murder charges that he became a baptized Sikh at age 16 after his family moved from India to England three years earlier.

He said he was the only member of his family to be baptized and that his mother prepared separate meals for him so he could adhere to his religion, which bans the eating of meat.

Reyat testified that when a leader of a Sikh separatist group asked him to collect bomb-making materials in Vancouver in 1984, he agreed to do so "to help people in India."

"I complied with Parmar's request because I was very upset with the Indian government's treatment of the Sikh people and I wanted to assist their cause in any way that I could," he said in a February 2003 affidavit for his second conviction.

That netted him a controversial five-year sentence for the bombing deaths of 329 people aboard Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985.

Reyat had already served a decade-long sentence for another bombing that day at Tokyo's Narita Airport, where two baggage handlers died when a suitcase bomb meant for Bangkok-bound Air India Flight 301 exploded prematurely.

Reyat's lawyer, Ian Donaldson, said his client was merely a "soldier" who followed orders from a "general" when he agreed to collect bomb parts.

The Crown maintains the two bomb-laden suitcases originated at Vancouver's airport as part of a plot against government-owned Air India by British Columbia-based Sikh extremists who felt the Indian government was oppressing Sikhs, a minority in their former homeland.

In June 1984, a year before the Air India bombings, the Indian army stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, home to the religion's holiest shrine, in an effort to oust Sikh separatists fighting for an independent homeland called Khalistan they wanted to carve out of the province of Punjab.

Thousands of Sikhs died in "Operation Bluestar" and the religious fervour and anger that resulted spread to Canada.

In Vancouver,Sikhs including Reyat rallied by the thousands outside the Indian Consulate and called for the death of then-prime Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in October 1984.

In 1986, a year after the Air India bombings, Reyat moved back to England with his wife, Satnam Kaur Reyat, with whom he had four children.

He was extradited from England to face the Narita charges after police found evidence at the blast site and connected it to bomb-making material Reyat bought in Duncan, B.C.

The Crown subpoenaed Reyat to testify in 2003 at the trial of Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik, who were charged with mass murder in the Air India bombings.

Malik and Bagri were acquitted, and Reyat was charged with perjury in 2006.

The Crown accused Reyat of lying 19 times to minimize his involvement in the bombings and to protect others who targeted Air India.

Major Sidhu, whose sister died aboard Flight 182, said "everybody knows that (Reyat) was lying" at the Air India trial.

Sidhu said Reyat repeatedly made false statements at the trial because he feared retribution and despite others' involvement in the plot, he is the only one who has been punished.

"I think he was under pressure from other people and he was scared," said Sidhu, who was a regular spectator at the trial in 2003 and 2004.

Sidhu said it's a well-known fact in the Indo-Canadian community that Reyat's devotion to his Sikh cause is so extreme that his wife and four kids have suffered as a consequence.

"His daughter got married in Toronto, and he was in jail," Sidhu said.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Ian Josephson, who presided over the Air India trial in 2003 and 2004, cited Sikh extremism in his written ruling, which paid tribute to the deaths of 331 people, mostly Canadians, who lost their lives in the disasters.

"These hundreds of men, women and children were entirely innocent victims of a diabolical act of terrorism unparalleled until recently in aviation history and finding its roots in fanaticism at its basest and most inhumane level," he said, comparing the Air India bombings to the 9-11 attacks in the U.S.

Perviz Madon's husband Sam Madon was on the doomed plane when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland.

She attended Reyat's perjury trial and heard a recording of the same lies he told at Malik and Bagri's trial seven years earlier.

"I'm really happy that the jury saw (the lies), and it's a good message that we're sending that you can't get away with lying under oath," she said.

"I hope that this is the end of it."

Friday, September 17, 2010


*** Important to consider that America remains target #1 and extremists ARE trying to use Canada as a staging ground for either attack against or infiltration into, the United States. We have a responsibility as a good neighbour (yes, that's how we spell it up here) to do our utmost to prevent that. MS ***

By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - More people were caught trying to sneak into Canada at remote border points with the United States in 2008 than the other way around, a newly released intelligence report reveals.

It was the second straight year that continental human smuggling and other surreptitious crossings tilted in Canada's direction.

The RCMP attributes the trend to factors including a U.S. crackdown on undocumented workers, more American agents along the border and the shaky state of the U.S. economy.

The figures, the latest available, show 952 people were caught entering Canada between legitimate border crossings, while 819 were U.S.-bound.

The numbers appear in the 2009 Integrated Border Enforcement Team threat assessment report, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

The 15 binational teams strung along the border include members of the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and other American agencies.

They work at strategic points between border crossings to thwart smugglers of everything from people and drugs to currency and firearms.

Human smuggling groups identified by the teams have international contacts and focused in 2008 on the B.C.-Washington state border as well as the Quebec-New York-Vermont corridor, the report says.

"They charge excessive fees for directions and send many uninformed migrants on their way to the U.S. and to Canada to claim refugee status."

The report, which says many of the people coming northward are from the Americas, does not indicate how many were legitimate refugees fleeing persecution. However, it adds: "The unknown intention of individuals seeking illegal entry into either country is a concern."

The report calls for a public awareness campaign on the Internet to advise potential border crossers of hazards including extreme weather, dangerous rapids and whirlpools, and even wildlife.

"We have seen cases where people have been injured," said RCMP Supt. Warren Coons, director of the border teams.

"Other people have tried to swim across very dangerous waters in order to get into the country. And others have been caught in snowbanks and, if not for being rescued by emergency services, would have died of exposure."

Though the government and the RCMP have flagged human trafficking — the movement of people for exploitation in the sex trade and other fields — as a concern lately, the teams uncovered no such cases between Canada and the U.S. last year.

They've also seen no hint of extremist groups trying to slip across the border undetected, Coons said.

"There hasn't been any indication in the time that I've been in the IBET program that would suggest that terrorist groups are using between-the-ports methods to cross the border," he said in an interview.

Coons noted that terrorism cases in both countries in recent years have tended to involve homegrown radicals rather than violent plotters arriving from abroad.

"But we're definitely vigilant because we recognize that those networks that move contraband or individuals across the border aren't necessarily concerned about national security issues the same way we might be," Coons said.

"So we have to do everything that we can to ensure that they won't be exploited by terrorist groups.

"National security is our No. 1 priority, make no mistake about that."

The report says cross-border smugglers are becoming "more sophisticated and discriminating" in their adoption of technology, using BlackBerry messaging, scanners, geopositioning devices and satellite phones to their advantage.

The assessment recommends bolstering the border teams with more investigative personnel and analytical support, such as mapping and geospatial specialists.

The report also says uniformed officers should be added to the teams to work alongside the plainclothes Mounties who currently toil there.

Now, the team members aren't necessarily connected to nearby border communities, said Coons.

"They're not in the coffee shops, they're not visible to the communities along the borders," he said.

"From a safety standpoint for both our members and the community, we see a uniformed presence as being an important element to border security."


*** Hmmm.......methinks there are priests in that entourage who should be arrested for their real crimes against children. Is the rape of young boys less offensive than plotting terrorism? MS ***

UPDATE: The "plot" consisted of this kind of conversation: "It would be pretty difficult to shoot the Pope, wouldn't it, as his car is bulletproof?" Another replied: "Yeah, but I bet an RPG would get through that easily enough."

A police source said, "When we received the information it was decided that we needed to get the men in and see if there was a real terrorist plot. It wasn't something that we could have taken a chance with, given that the Pope was in the country that day and the men had access to the Pope's route.

Read more: Plot to attack Pope: UK frees 6 suspects without charge -

Original article:

LONDON (Reuters) - Anti-terrorism police, on high alert during a visit by Pope Benedict to the British capital, arrested six men on Friday on suspicion of preparing an attack.

Police moved quickly to make the pre-dawn arrests of five men who worked as street cleaners in the area in central London near parliament where the pontiff later spoke.

A sixth suspect was arrested about eight hours later but it was not clear if he worked for the same cleaning company contracted by the Westminster area of London.

British broadcaster Sky cited unnamed sources as saying the six were Algerian but police said they could not comment on the report and the Algerian embassy said it had not been notified of the arrests of any of its nationals.

Police, who searched eight homes and two businesses in London, reviewed security arrangements after the arrests but decided they remained "appropriate."

The BBC reported that the men had posed "a possible threat to the pope" but police refused to confirm or deny that. The Vatican said the trip would go ahead as planned and that the pope was calm.

Security is expected to be tight on Saturday when demonstrators protesting against the pope plan to march from Hyde Park to Downing Street, the prime minister's official London residence.

Pope Benedict is due to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg and acting opposition leader Harriet Harman, before attending a prayer vigil at the park.


The pope on Friday visited the parliament area, where he met with the Archbishop of Canterbury and addressed British leaders.

Hundreds of protesters along the route called him the "anti-Christ" and shouted "shame" as they held up pictures of children who were sexually abused by priests in a scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.

Similar protests were held at a Catholic university the pope visited on Friday morning.

The six unnamed men, aged between 26 and 50, were arrested on "suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism," according to police statements.

The pope has been heavily protected during his four-day visit to Britain, traveling in a custom-built bulletproof car surrounded by security officials.

Benedict has not been the target of any serious attacks but his predecessor was almost killed in an assassination attempt in 1981 and was the subject of several other attacks.

When the pope travels outside the Vatican he is protected by the host country's police forces plus a small contingent of about a dozen Vatican security men.

The last terrorist attack in Britain was in July 2005, when four British Islamists killed 52 people and wounded hundreds by setting off suicide bombs on the transport system.

"We are totally confident in police and there are no plans to change the program," said Father Federico Lombardi. He said the pope was calm and looking forward to the rest of the visit.

The pope held talks at Lambeth Palace with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the 80 million strong worldwide Anglican communion, and the two later attended an ecumenical prayer service during which he shook the hand of Jane Hedges, Canon of Westminster Abbey.

Williams and the pope, whose Churches split in 1534 and are now divided over issues such as women priests and gay bishops, both spoke of the importance of faith in society and agreed that Christianity should not be seen as a threat to freedom.

Later, the pope told British leaders, including four former prime ministers, that religion had to be a "vital contributor" to national debate on a host of issues.

(additional reporting by Maria Golovnina, Adrian Croft, Stefano Ambrogi and Bill Maclean; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)


*** More proof of the failure of Jihadi nutjobs: you have killed more in 2 weeks than NATO has done in two MONTHs. Oh yes, Rasullullah would be so proud! I'm SURE this is what he (SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) had in mind. Amazing the audacity to think you can get away with this level of killing - something that holds true for all parties to conflict. MS ***

PARACHINAR, Pakistan - A Pakistani police official says fighting between two tribes near the border with Afghanistan has killed 102 people over the last two weeks.

Jalil Khan says 48 people died Friday in the dispute over access to water in the Kurram region.

There have been frequent bouts of deadly tribal and sectarian fighting in the region over the last few years.

Khan says one tribe consists of minority Shia Muslims while the other is Sunni.

Kurram and other parts of the border region are also home to Sunni Islamist militants and al-Qaida.

Some reports from the remote region have said the militants may have a role in the conflict.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


*** Imagine my shock. MS ***

OTTAWA - The RCMP has been sitting on a pile of complaint findings for months, sparking concern about timely justice for those who have grievances against the national police force.

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP says that as of last week it had been waiting 300 days or more for final signoff from the Mounties on 11 complaint investigations. Among them was a high-profile probe into the case of Robert Dziekanski, who died after being stunned with a Taser at Vancouver airport in October 2007.

Another 11 reports have been on the RCMP's desk for between 180 and 300 days, while a further 22 were sent to the force between 30 and 180 days ago.

The Mounties say they've simply been too busy with the Olympics and international leaders' summits to keep up.

The commission aims to shepherd each complaint through the process — from the initial lodging of the complaint through to its conclusion — as swiftly as possible, and within one calendar year, said Jamie Robertson, a commission spokesman.

Before a final report is issued, the commission sends an interim report to RCMP Commissioner William Elliott for comments on findings and recommendations — a phase of the process for which the commission allots 30 days.

Although the commission applies strict standards to its turnaround times for handling complaints, it can "only recommend that the RCMP does the same," Robertson said.

Among the other reports awaiting an RCMP response are the commission's probes of:

— The RCMP arrest of Robert Knipstrom of Chilliwack, B.C., who died in hospital in November 2007 days after being Tasered, pepper sprayed and hit with a baton;

— The Mounties' investigation into how a Conservative MP listened in on a 2008 conference call of the federal NDP caucus.

Sgt. Pat Flood, an RCMP spokeswoman, said the force is "cognizant of the backlog" of interim reports.

The force has been delayed in responding due to the "reallocation of resources in recent months to meet the security obligations of the Olympics and G8-G20 summits," she said.

In last year's annual report, the complaints commission had applauded the RCMP commissioner for delivering replies to all but two outstanding investigation files from 2007 and 2008 by the end of March 2009.

This year, however, the backlog has again mushroomed.

Robertson said while the complaints commission "acknowledges the significant strains that security obligations in connection with the Winter Olympics and G8-G20 placed on the RCMP, as stewards of the public complaints process (the commission) is concerned about the accumulation ... and the delays which result."

A Conservative government bill introduced in June to overhaul the complaints commission wouldn't remedy the problem.

Paul Kennedy, the former chairman of the commission, said in a recent interview the lack of legislated time limits for the RCMP to respond to interim complaint findings was "an intolerable situation."


*** Mr. Dirie is similarly, not surprised with the ruling. I am unaware of any in-house prison rehabilitation program for convicted terrorists and in the absence of such, it is difficult to measure the degree of change and security in the belief that a threat no longer remains. In light of the fact that prisons are nodes of radicalization, such programs serve as a vital component of the way in which enlightened societies deal with this problem. Canada, disturbingly, has no plan in place to address this problem. MS ***

A member of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist cell has been denied parole and will remain behind bars.

The National Parole Board says Ali Dirie shows a persistent pattern of violent behaviour and, if released, he would likely harm others.

The 27-year-old Mr. Dirie appeared before the board on Monday and vowed he'd changed his ways.

But in a decision issued today, Mr. Dirie was ordered to stay behind bars for the remainder of his sentence, which runs out next October.

Mr. Dirie was among 18 people arrested in 2006, for plotting to cause bloodshed and panic in Canada by bombing nuclear power plants and RCMP headquarters and attacking Parliament.

Mr. Dirie was originally arrested on other offences in 2005 and, later, was sentenced to seven years for his role in the terrorist plot.

He will remain in the Special Handling Unit in Quebec, Canada's highest super-maximum security prison reserved for the worst offenders.


*** It is a testament to the just nature of Western liberal democracies that such investigations even occur. THIS is why we retain the moral high ground in this area of force application. MS ***

WINNIPEG (CBC) - Canada's Defence Department quietly began a major inquiry into the Afghanistan operations of the military's elite special forces unit two years ago, CBC News has learned.

The investigation began in 2008 after a member of the highly secretive task force, known as Joint Task Force 2 or JTF2, raised serious allegations against another member of the force and the force in general, the military has confirmed.

The allegations centred on events that took place between 2005 and 2008, said navy Capt. David Scanlon, but he would provide no details about them.

The investigation, called Sand Trap I, ended after a few months with no charges laid, but the probe sparked a larger investigation into broader allegations. That investigation, called Sand Trap II, is still underway.

CBC News has learned the handling of detainees may have triggered the initial investigation, although the current probe is much wider than that.

The Sand Trap investigations should not taint the reputation of the military, Scanlon said.

"The Canadian Forces have been operating in the very complex Afghan theatre for almost a decade, and the vast majority of Canadian Forces personnel are performing their tough assignments with typical Canadian honesty and integrity," he said.

A few details of the investigation are contained in a November 2009 military briefing note written by Gen. Walter Natynczyk, Canada's chief of defence staff, and obtained by the CBC through an Access to Information Act request.

In the note, Natynczyk tells Defence Minister Peter MacKay that a board of inquiry is investigating Sand Trap II and started hearing from witnesses in May 2009. Military boards of inquiry are called to formally investigate accidents, misconduct or other major problems within the Canadian Forces.

At the time the note was written, Natynczyk wrote that 60 witnesses had testified before the board, and another 40 still needed to give testimony. He expected testimony to be complete by December 2009, with a report submitted by April 2010.

Scanlon said the board of inquiry is focusing on the broader administrative and non-criminal aspects of the allegations at the heart of Sand Trap II.

He said investigators are receiving full co-operation from the special forces unit, and any charges that might arise would be be made public.

The military has never said much about the work of JTF2, although it has revealed the unit has been involved in high-risk operations against high-value targets, including Taliban and al-Qaeda commanders.

The unit has also been involved in pursuing insurgents who build and plant roadside bombs, and the networks that supply them, the military has said.

During the three year period at the centre of the Sand Trap investigations, 2005 to 2008, the JTF2 unit was attached to an American special forces command based in Kandahar. JTF2 took its tactical direction from the Americans.

The Sand Trap investigations are not part of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) public hearings into allegations that military police failed to investigate senior officers responsible for transfers allegedly involving a risk of torture.

"This is a distinct and broader investigation," Scalon said. "Far broader than anything the MPCC would look at."

Monday, September 13, 2010


*** Aint gonna happen this time round. MS ***

A member of the so-called Toronto 18 is applying for parole.

Ali Dirie will appear before the National Parole Board today at a Quebec prison.

Mr. Dirie was sentenced to seven years in prison last October for his role in a plot designed to wreak havoc on Canadian targets.

The Somali-born Dirie was arrested in 2005 and already in prison when police moved in on the so-called Toronto 18 in 2006.

At trial, court heard that despite his incarceration, he tried to recruit inmates for extremist plots while trying to procure weapons and travel documents.

During sentencing, the judge noted he was an unlikely candidate for parole.

With time served, he only had two years left on his sentence, but the judge ordered he serve at least one year before being eligible for parole.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


*** The trouble is, non democratic countries do not subject themselves and their systems to the rigours of analysis and self-criticism. As one such liberal democratic state, Canada cannot afford to not deal with or liaise with its political counterparts, otherwise, if we are to disengage from all countries that engage in serious human rights abuses, we are left to have to deal with any potential threat on our own - and THAT is just plain stupid. MS ***

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA, - Canada's spy agency says it would use information obtained through torture to derail a possible terrorist plot — a position critics argue will only encourage abusive interrogations.

The statement from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, contained in briefing notes released to The Canadian Press, echoes remarks by a spy agency official that sparked a public controversy — and a quick retraction — last year.

CSIS will share information received from an international partner with the police and other authorities "even in the rare and extreme circumstance that we have some doubt as to the manner in which the foreign agency acquired it," say the notes prepared for use by CSIS director Dick Fadden.

The notes say that although such information would never be admissible in court to prosecute someone posing an imminent threat, "the government must nevertheless make use of the information to attempt to disrupt that threat before it materializes."

The CSIS position is "alarming" and contravenes a federal government directive to the spy agency to shun brutal methods, said NDP public safety critic Don Davies. "CSIS appears to be trying to open the door to be able to rely on information derived from torture, and that's in violation of the policy."

The federal directive, made public last year, says the government "is steadfast in its abhorrence of and opposition to the use of torture by any state or agency for any purpose whatsoever."

It instructs CSIS to "not knowingly rely upon information which is derived from the use of torture" and to take measures "to reduce the risk that any action on the part of the Service might promote or condone, or be seen to promote or condone the use of torture."

The CSIS position spelled out in the briefing notes falls short of an "absolute repudiation" of torture, said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada. On the contrary, it indicates the spy agency would use information gleaned through coercive tactics, he said.

"And that's problematic, because anything that sends a signal to torturers that there's a ready and willing market for the fruits of their misdeeds is only going to encourage further torture."

The briefing notes, drafted for Fadden's June interview with CBC-TV, were recently obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. The CBC did not raise the subject of torture during the interview.

Critics say torture is not only a barbaric violation of fundamental human rights, but a highly unreliable method of intelligence gathering because people being abused will often say anything to make the pain stop.

CSIS has never condoned torture and finds it abhorrent, the briefing notes say.

They add, however, that Canadians would not forgive the intelligence service if it completely ignored information that could have been used to investigate and prevent a terrorist attack because that tip came from a country with a suspect human rights reputation.

In addition to sharing such information with Canadian police, CSIS would pass it to relevant foreign agencies after taking steps to ensure it would be used appropriately, the notes say.

Neve said Amnesty International is not suggesting CSIS turn a blind eye to suspect information about a possible threat.

"If a signal has come to their attention that a threat, a potential attack, is in the offing, then other avenues need to be pursued to explore and see whether that truly is a legitimate threat, other avenues which don't involve further complicity in torture," Neve said.

A federal inquiry by Justice Dennis O'Connor into the Maher Arar torture affair recommended in 2006 that policies include specific directions "aimed at eliminating any possible Canadian complicity in torture, avoiding the risk of other human rights abuses and ensuring accountability."

Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, was jailed in Damascus and tortured into giving false confessions about terrorist links.

CSIS maintains it has implemented all of O'Connor's recommendations to prevent a recurrence.

But the spy agency's position on torture hasn't always been clear.

In March last year, CSIS lawyer Geoffrey O'Brian told the Commons national security committee the agency would use information gathered through torture in the rare instance that it could prevent a catastrophic terrorist plot like the 1985 Air India bombing or the 9-11 attacks.

"The simple truth is, if we get information which can prevent something like the Air India bombing, the Twin Towers — whatever, frankly — that is the time when we will use it despite the provenance of that information."

O'Brian's comments drew sharp criticism from opposition MPs and human-rights advocates, and prompted then-public safety minister Peter Van Loan to quiz Jim Judd, CSIS director at the time, about the agency's policy on torture.

O'Brian back-pedalled two days later, telling the committee in a letter that CSIS does not condone torture, nor knowingly rely on information obtained through such means.

The latest briefing notes say CSIS would "follow up on any and all leads" related to an imminent threat to Canada or Canadian interests. "We would be remiss in our duties if we did not."

Davies said the government and CSIS must clearly condemn the use of force to get people to talk.

"It can't be equivocal, where, 'Well, if the information's really important to us, then it's OK.' Otherwise, you really don't have a prohibition on the use of torture."

The latest CSIS statements beg clarity, Neve said.

"I think we are still left in a very confused and uncertain place, and that's not where we should be when it comes to something as profoundly important as how the issue of torture is being handled."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


*** Endangering troops and undermining foreign and domestic policy is not a right. MS ***

TORONTO - The man in charge of Canada's armed forces added his voice Wednesday to a chorus of international condemnation against a tiny Florida church that plans to burn copies of the Muslim holy book this weekend to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Rev. Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., said he's standing by his plan to burn copies of the Qur'an, a move critics around the world say would do little more than inflame tensions and put the lives of Americans abroad at risk.

"This initiative is insulting to Muslims and Canadians of all faiths who understand that freedom of thought and freedom of religion are fundamental to our way of living," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement.

"We call on this pastor to bring people together, not break them apart."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates also echoed objections first raised by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, who warned that the proposed event would place the lives of American troops in jeopardy there and elsewhere.

MacKay said Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are not fighting Islam or Islamic beliefs, but rather "an extremist and brutal enemy... that condones public stonings, pours acid in the faces of Muslim schoolgirls who want a better future, and wishes to rule people by fear, intimidation and violence."

Jones has been under intense pressure from the White House and religious leaders to call off his plan to burn the book Muslims consider the word of God, but so far he's shown no signs of backing down.

Jones told a press conference Wednesday that he's received a lot of encouragement for his protest, with supporters mailing copies of the Islamic holy text to his church, which has about 50 followers. The plan is to incinerated the Qur'ans in a bonfire Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"As of right now, we are not convinced that backing down is the right thing," said Jones, who took no questions.

Jones has said he's received more than 100 death threats and now wears a .40-calibre pistol strapped to his hip since announcing his plan to burn a book that's at the heart of the Islamic faith and which Muslims insist must be treated with the utmost respect.

Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Kabul, took the rare step of a military leader taking a position on a domestic matter when he warned that "images of the burning of a Qur’an would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence."

Petraeus spoke Wednesday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the matter, according to a military spokesman Col. Erik Gunhus.

"They both agreed that burning of a Qur’an would undermine our effort in Afghanistan, jeopardize the safety of coalition troopers and civilians," Gunhus said, and would "create problems for our Afghan partners ... as it likely would be Afghan police and soldiers who would have to deal with any large demonstrations."

Clinton said that the pastor's plans were outrageous and urged Jones to cancel the event.

"It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people, can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now," Clinton said.

"It is unfortunate, it is not who we are."

Canadians. MacKay said, take pride in their country's fundamental values of freedom of religion and thought.

"We are a country built on waves of immigrants who made Canada and who we are today," he said.

"Our values are what binds Canadians together during our hardest battles and our darkest moments. We recognized the strength of these attributes in our society on the morning of September 11th, 2001, and we rallied our spirits in the days that followed that terrible day with the knowledge that respecting our uniqueness brings Canadians closer together."

In remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank in Washington, Clinton called the plans "outrageous" and "aberrational" and said they do not represent America or American values of religious tolerance and inclusiveness.

She also lamented that the tiny Dove World Outreach Center congregation in Gainesville had gotten so much attention for what she called a "distrustful and disgraceful" means of marking the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now," Clinton said. "It is unfortunate; it is not who we are," she said.

Through Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan, Gates added his voice to the growing controversy.

"No one is questioning the right to do these things. We are questioning whether that's advisable considering the consequences that could occur," Lapan said. "Gen. Petraeus has been very vocal and very public on this, and his position reflects the secretary's as well."

Petraeus said Tuesday that "images of the burning of a Qur’an would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan and around the world to inflame public opinion and incite violence." In addition, Gen. Ray Odierno, the former top commander in Iraq, said Wednesday he feared extremists would use the incident to sow hatred against U.S. troops overseas.

In Iraq, where almost 50,000 American troops still are posted, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. Lloyd Austin, joined in the condemnation. They called the plan "disrespectful, divisive and disgraceful."

"As this holy month of Ramadan comes to a close and Iraqis prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, we join with the citizens of Iraq and of every nation to repudiate religious intolerance and to respect and defend the diversity of faiths of our fellow man," they said in a joint statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Clinton appealed for Jones to reconsider and cancel. In the event that he carries out the plan, she suggested to laughter from the audience, that the news media ignore it.

"We are hoping that the pastor decides not to do this," she said. "We're hoping against hope that if he does, it won't be covered as an act of patriotism."

"We want to be judged by who we are as a nation, not by something that is so aberrational and we will make that case as strongly as possible."

— With files from The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


*** An excellent piece. MS ***

At an iftar get-together that Muslims working at Canadian International Development Agency arranged I and two other Muslims spoke on Islam and Canadian Muslims.

A CIDA official asked us to comment on an Ottawa Citizen article that he said he found very convincing. Two Muslims had written about “the rising tide of jihadi radicalism that is sweeping like a contagious disease among Muslim youth” and that “there could be as many as 100,000 Muslim Canadians who are hostile to Canada and Western civilization.”

We said the article was inaccurate, as a letter the next day in the Citizen stated, and that most Canadian Muslims were loyal and productive citizens and that, even if the law found those accused in the recent arrests to be guilty, they are only a few of the million or so Muslims in Canada. But the recent arrests of some Muslims in Ontario on terrorism-related charges show the deep divisions within the Muslim community, with some people worrying that Muslim youth are being brainwashed by extremists and goaded into disastrous acts of terrorism in Canada and a few stating that the arrests are just a continuation of harassment of Canadian Muslims.

Nevertheless, I have been thinking. What would happen to the image of Islam, and to the Muslims of Canada, if the Canadian security agencies faltered at some point and a real terrorist incident took place in Canada killing innocent people and causing widespread damage? It is safe to say that such an incident would cause a severe backlash that could threaten all Canadian Muslims and turn Canada into a much tougher and less gentle country.

I’m not saying that the accused in the recent arrests planned terrorism. Of course, they are presumed to be innocent till they are found guilty by due process. But it is equally true that not all those who were presumed innocent in past cases were found to be innocent by the judicial process. Some Muslims accused of plotting terrorism were found to be guilty by our judiciary system, including the majority of the Toronto 18, Momin Khawaja of Ottawa and Said Namouh of Quebec. Some had planned to harm the innocent in Europe, others targeted Canada. And of course terrorists kill innocent people every day in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

IT is disturbing that some Muslims are suggesting that the Canadian security agencies, having bungled in the past in the Maher Arar and other cases, have framed the present accused and that they are targeting innocent Muslims. These Muslims live in a fantasy world of their own, substituting their wishful thinking and illusions for reality. Equally disturbing, some Muslims have become media darlings, less for their expertise and more for their Muslim-bashing.

Canadian security agencies have blundered in the past. No security agency in any country has been error-free. Human beings make mistakes. But Canadian security agencies have a job to do — protect all Canadians. It is not an easy or a clean job, but it has to be done for the protection of all Canadians, including and particularly Canadian Muslims who could be endangered physically and in additional ways if a major terrorist attack took place in Canada. It is the religious and civic duty of all Canadians to help security agencies protect Canada. There is no trustworthy evidence that they are targeting Muslims in particular. On the other hand, I find them sensitive to the traditions and feelings of Muslims.

Canadian imams are emphasizing that Islam promotes peace, justice, compassion and security for everyone. I heard excellent khutbas by Ottawa Muslim Association Imam Khaled Al-Azhary and by Ehab El-Komy, a layman. An excellent khutba by Imam Mohamed Jebara enlightened Muslims on the Islamic emphasis on justice, compassion, loyalty, peace, and human brotherhood. Other imams in Canada are conveying similar messages.

So why would a Muslim violate the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), doom himself to hell by planning to kill himself and innocent people, endanger his own family and all Muslims of Canada and harm a country that provides him food, shelter, security and dignity?

Canada offers all its citizens religious and other freedoms, human rights and enviable social benefits. It accepts not only immigrants but Muslim refugees fleeing persecution from fellow Muslims. Millions of people around the world, including Muslims, would give anything to be able to live in Canada — the world’s best country, according to some. It seems the major reason Canadian Muslims are disturbed by Canada’s involvement in the NATO war in Afghanistan.

Canada refused to join the US attack on Iraq. But it is participating in the NATO war in Afghanistan to fulfill its treaty obligations. Canada is in Afghanistan to help the Afghans fight extremism and build their country, not to exploit or harm them. Many Canadians oppose Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan. They can voice their opposition democratically and are doing so. Canada is planning to end its combat role in Afghanistan next year but will continue to train and assist the Afghans.

It would be tragic if the harmony and tranquility of Canada were to be disturbed by innocent Muslims manipulated into extremist crimes by people who understand neither the humanitarianism, justice and compassion taught by Islam nor the blessings of living in a country which embraces all its citizens with equal warmth and provides them security, social services, human rights and dignity that are perhaps not matched by any other country. If terrorist acts took place in Canada, the backlash against Muslims would harm innocent Canadian Muslims, damage Canada’s relations with Muslim countries and close Canada’s doors to thousands of Muslims who flee persecution in their own countries from fellow Muslims and seek hope, dignity, safety and a good life in this beautiful country.

Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is a retired newspaperman, public servant and refugee judge. He has received the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his work as a journalist, leadership of Muslims and efforts to promote understanding between Canadians of different faiths.


*** The Prosecutor is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about my friend Steven Chand. He NEVER once expressed hatred or bias against non Muslims. He NEVER once expressed any desire to undertake violent jihad. They are totally WRONG to be doing what they have done - I know Steven better than anyone in that courtroom and all these descriptions against hime are FALSE. MS ***

A man convicted of trying to fundraise for the “Toronto 18″ terrorist group was motivated by “bias or hatred” toward non-Muslims, a Superior Court judge heard this morning.

Steven Chand, 29, was found guilty in June of participating in the homegrown terror cell and counselling the commission of fraud for its benefit. The group planned to storm Parliament and detonate powerful trucks bombs in downtown Toronto as a protest against Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, but authorities foiled the plot before it came to fruition.

During Chand’s sentencing hearing in a Brampton courthouse today, Crown attorney Sarah Shaikh highlighted his significant level of participation in the terrorist group — particularly, Chand’s help in training recruits at a 2005 winter camp in Washago, Ont.

“He was a trainer at Washago … He was not a [mere] recruit,” Ms. Shaikh said, noting Chand listened to ringleader Fahim Ahmad’s “jihadi rants” and was well aware of the camp’s terrorist purposes. Chand also encouraged the group to acquire weapons, she noted; at one point, he attempted to enlist an outsider to facilitate a moneymaking scheme, leading to the fraud charge.

“Chand’s actions were motivated by a bias or hatred toward non-believers,” Ms. Shaikh said.

The Crown is calling for a total sentence of 8 to 8.5 years, while the defence is asking for 6 to 8. Justice Fletcher Dawson has repeatedly expressed reservations about the proposed length of sentence, suggesting it may be too low.

The participation offence carries a maximum 10-year sentence, while the fraud offence carries a maximum term of life imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Michael Moon will make his submissions this afternoon.

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Friday, September 3, 2010


*** If another attack against innocent people happens - the area where these guys operate is gonna be turned into glass. And, in WHICH universe could you justify the killing of children? Anyone who supports these animals should be similarly targetted for removal from the earth (the very punishment according to Shariah). MS ***

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan's Taliban threatened on Friday to launch attacks in the United States and Europe "very soon."

The warning came after a renewal of militant violence in Pakistan this week that is piling pressure on a U.S.-backed government overwhelmed by the flood crisis.

"We will launch attacks in America and Europe very soon," Qari Hussain Mehsud, a senior Pakistani Taliban leader and mentor of suicide bombers, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

A suicide bomber struck at a rally in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday, killing at least 54 people in the second major attack this week.

The attack on the Shi'ite rally expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people came as the United States said the devastating floods are likely to hold up army offensives against Taliban insurgents.

"Unfortunately the flooding in Pakistan is probably going to delay any operations by the Pakistani army in North Waziristan for some period of time," U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in Afghanistan where he is visiting U.S. troops.

Senior police official Hamid Shakeel told Reuters that at least 54 people were killed and about 160 wounded in Quetta.

Dozens of dead and wounded lay in pools of blood after the blast that also engulfed vehicles in flames.

Hours later, the al Qaeda-linked Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for killings of radical Sunni clerics by Shi'ites, further challenging the unpopular civilian government. "We take pride in taking responsibility for the Quetta attack," Mehsud told Reuters.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban also claimed responsibility for bombings on Wednesday at a Shi'ite procession in the eastern city of Lahore in which at least 33 people died. These blasts were the first major attack since flood waters tore through the country. The Taliban and their allies often target religious minorities in a campaign to destabilize the government.

The Taliban said the U.S. decision to put it on its list of terrorist organizations was a sign of being scared.

Aside from its battles against homegrown Taliban, Pakistan is under intense American pressure to tackle Afghan Taliban fighters who cross the border into Pakistan's lawless tribal areas to attack U.S.-led NATO troops.

The United States has stepped up missile strikes by pilotless drone aircraft against militant targets in Pakistan's Pashtun tribal lands since the start of 2010. On Friday, U.S. drones fired missiles at two targets in North Waziristan tribal region, killing seven militants, including two foreigners, intelligence officials said.

Pakistan has said the army would decide when to carry out a full-fledged assault in North Waziristan, where Washington says anti-American militants enjoy safe havens, at the time it considers appropriate.

In another attack in the northwest, a suicide bomber killed one person outside a mosque of the Ahmadi sect, who consider themselves Muslims but whom Pakistan declares non-Muslims.

Attention has focused on the Pakistani Taliban again after U.S. prosecutors this week charged its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, in a plot that killed seven CIA employees at an American base in Afghanistan last December.

Islamist charities, some of them linked to militant groups, have at the same time joined in the relief effort for the millions affected by the worst floods in the nation's history.

U.S. officials are concerned that the involvement of hardline groups in flood relief will undermine the fight against militancy in Pakistan as well Afghanistan.


Anger is spreading over the government's sluggish response to the floods, raising the possibility of social unrest.

Pakistan is also facing economic catastrophe, with the floods causing damage the government has estimated at $43 billion, almost a quarter of the south Asian nation's 2009 GDP.

Some relief has come from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It will give Pakistan $450 million in emergency flood aid and disburse funds in September to help the economy cope with the devastation.

Talks in Washington with a delegation led by Pakistan's Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on the terms of an $11 billion IMF loan program left him satisfied with the country's commitment to reforms, IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.

Under the 2008 IMF loan program, Islamabad promised to implement tax and energy sector reforms and give full autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan.

(Additional reporting by Saud Mehsud, Haji Mujtaba, Zeeshan Haider and Augustine Anthony: Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by David Stamp)


*** idiot. MS ***

LONDON - A former low-level employee of Britain's MI6 spy agency was sentenced Friday to one year in prison for trying to sell top-secret information to Dutch agents, with the judge calling him "a strange young man."

Daniel Houghton, 25, was guilty of "an act of betrayal" when he copied secret files, including spy agency staff lists with home phone numbers, and tried to peddle them to another government, Judge David Bean said.

MI6 is Britain's overseas intelligence service.

"If the material had found its way into the hands of a hostile power it would have done enormous damage and put lives at risk," the judge said.

Bean also said he received conflicting reports about Houghton's mental state and he could not determine if Houghton was hearing voices in his head, as his lawyers claimed.

"You seem to be a strange young man," he said. "But whether you were hearing voices at the time, I don't know. If you were hearing voices they may have had a significant influence on your behaviour, but they could not be said to remove your responsibility for your actions."

Prosecutors said in court Friday that Dutch agents were suspicious about Houghton's true identity and met with him in the Netherlands in January and determined that he had worked for MI6 and that he did possess secret documents. They then told British agents about his actions.

He was arrested at a London hotel in March.

Houghton, a dual Dutch and British national, admitted to two counts of unlawfully disclosing intelligence material but denied a charge of theft. He is expected to be released shortly because he has already served nearly half of his prison time while awaiting sentencing.


*** So the listening devices in his home that were planted to obtain evidence of terrorism offences were instead used to convict him on domestic assault charges? Ummm...okay I guess. Let's hope they treat ALL domestic assault cases like this one. MS ***

Andrew Seymour, Postmedia News · Friday, Sept. 3, 2010

OTTAWA — A man arrested but never charged in connection with an Ottawa terror investigation has been released on consent of the Crown.

Awso Peshdary was released Friday on several strict conditions, including that he reside with his sister and father, who each posted $4,000 bonds. He must also not apply for a passport, must stay away from his wife and infant child, and must not possess any weapons or explosives.

Mr. Peshdary said in a quiet voice he understood the conditions. If he fails to follow them, he could face up to two years in jail and his sureties would lose the bond money.

His conditions also include to stay away from his wife’s family, including her mother. He must also stay away from her place of employment, residence and place of worship.

After seeking to have Mr. Peshdary kept in custody on Sunday, Assistant Crown attorney Julie Scott said the Crown had time to review the file and would consent to his release.

No further charges would be filed, she said.

“There is no information Mr. Peshdary is in possession of any weapons and the Crown is of the view he can be released,” said Ms. Scott. She said the couple had been together a year-and-a-half and prior to Peshdary’s arrest there had been no complaints of domestic violence.

He has no criminal record, Ms. Scott said. She added there is a “safety plan” in place for Mr. Peshdary’s wife.

Court heard Mr. Peshdary is accused of twice assaulting his wife, whose name is protected by a publication ban.

The more serious of the alleged incidents occurred Aug. 10, when he allegedly pushed his wife in the throat, causing her to feel choked, according to the Crown.

He also allegedly pushed her in April. Both times he allegedly threatened her.

There was no mention of any connection to the Ottawa terror investigation that resulted in his arrest last Friday. He spent a week in custody before the Crown changed course.

Earlier this week it was revealed prosecution evidence in the domestic assault case came from microphones planted by police in his house.

It isn’t clear how long the Mounties were listening to conversations from the Peshdary home, but two of the charges date to April.

Mr. Peshdary has been at the centre of a bizarre legal roller-coaster since being arrested early last Friday morning on his way to work.

After a six-hour interrogation, the RCMP released him into the custody of Ottawa police, who charged him with one count of assault and one count of uttering a threat.

He was granted bail by Justice of the Peace Ray Switzer on Saturday but immediately re-arrested before he had a chance to leave the court building.

He was then charged on two more counts and on Sunday was ordered held in custody by Switzer until Tuesday.

The three other suspects arrested last week in the police anti-terrorist investigation known as Project Samossa — Hiva Alizadeh, 30, Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, and Khurram Syed Sher, 28 — are being held at an Ottawa detention centre. Mr. Sher has another court appearance Friday afternoon to set a date for his bail hearing. Mr. Ahmed’s bail hearing is set for Sept. 15. A bail hearing for Mr. Alizadeh has not been set.

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