A British Columbia man accused of traveling to Syria to join an armed Islamist group was allegedly on a no-fly list but evaded counter-terrorism authorities by assuming a false identity, according to those familiar with the case.
Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, was already known to Canadian authorities because of a previous trip he had made to Afghanistan, but he allegedly still managed to make his way to Syria by using a passport that did not belong to him.
The RCMP said Mr. Yusufzai had been charged under a new law that came into effect last year that made it a criminal offence to leave or attempt to leave Canada to engage in terrorism. He faces up to 14 years if convicted.
He is the first person charged in Canada over alleged involvement in the Syrian conflict, which has attracted dozens of radicalized Canadian extremists amid concerns they could bring their violence and militant ideology to Canada.
“This investigation underscores the reality that there are individuals leaving Canada to take part in terrorist activity,” James Malizia, the RCMP Assistant Commissioner, said in a statement. “These charges reaffirm the RCMP’s resolve to aggressively pursue terrorist acts to the fullest extent of the law.”
At the family home in Burnaby, B.C., relatives declined to speak to reporters.
The charges laid in Richmond, B.C., last Thursday accuse Mr. Yusufzai of leaving Canada on Jan. 21, 2014, for the purpose of committing murder “for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group.”
Neither the charge sheet nor police indicated which terrorist group he was accused of joining, but many Western foreign fighters end up with Jabhat Al-Nusrah, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria that is locked in a power struggle with the Islamic State (IS).
Burnaby man is facing a rare charge accused of contributing to terrorism abroad - YouTube
Recently, Al-Nusrah fighters have been crossing over to IS, which last month declared itself the rulers of a swath of Syria and Iraq it has captured and ethically cleansed through a campaign of beheadings and forced conversions.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service declined to comment on Mr. Yusufzai, but earlier this year the agency said about 30 Canadians had left to fight with extremist groups in Syria. They are mostly from Ontario, B.C. and Alberta.
At least five have been killed in the past year, according to death notices posted online by fellow extremists. They include former Calgarians Damian Clairmont and Salman Ashrafi, whom IS said carried out a November, 2013, suicide bombing in Iraq that killed almost 20 people.
Earlier this month, IS released a video featuring André Poulin, a troubled Timmins, Ont., youth who died in Syria last August. The 11-minute video appealed to Canadians to join the fight to impose a militant Islamist state in the region.
Canadian imams recently issued a statement warning Muslim youths against traveling abroad to fight in foreign conflicts. The RCMP, meanwhile, has been tracking “high-risk travellers” and attempting to disrupt their plans using such methods as denying them passports and placing them on the no-fly list.
source: B.C. man who went to Syria becomes the first charged with terrorism under new Canadian law | National Post
That's a good start, now they need to go after Terrorist sympathizer in Canada.. search, Facebook, YouTube and other Social Media places.