Religion of Peace in action

Is that Muslims or just typical Toronto??
Quote: Originally Posted by MHz View Post

Is that Muslims or just typical Toronto??

Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

I hope that the dim bulbs who phoned 911 and emergency services to complain about the Amber Alert on their phones get charged. If your phone is waking you up in the night, TURN THE GODDAM THING OFF, ya moron.

I don't mind amber alerts as long as they don't interrupt my scifi shows.
MANDEL: Freed homegrown jihadist remains 'high risk to public safety'
Michele Mandel
February 22, 2019
February 22, 2019 7:28 PM EST
Kevin Omar Mohamed. (Handout Photo)
It’s clearly a bad sign when the Parole Board had labels you a “high risk to public safety” but must release you nonetheless.
Kevin Omar Mohamed will soon be out of prison, freed on mandatory release after serving two-thirds of his four-and-a half-year sentence for participating in the activities of a terror group.
According to a parole board decision obtained this week by Global News’ Stewart Bell and Andrew Russell, the panel worries the Whitby man still harbours “dangerous radical religious beliefs” and “may continue to commit terrorist related offences.”
So how concerned should we be about this wannabe jihadi?
“Absolutely concerned,” says Phil Gurski, a former Canadian Security Intelligence Service analyst and author of The Threat from Within: Recognizing Al Qaeda-Inspired Radicalization and Terrorism in the West.
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“He clearly showed that he was radicalized, had made an effort to travel, got caught, got tried and he essentially got a slap on the wrist. My understanding is that he hasn’t gone to any counselling or any deradicalization, meaning he’s being released with no indication that his ideology is any less concerning today than it was two years ago.”
Mohamed has been in custody since his arrest in March 2016 by the RCMP.
The former University of Waterloo engineering student had flown to Turkey and crossed into Syria in 2014 with the intention of joining Jabhat Al-Nusrah, an affiliate of al-Qaida.
According to the agreed statement of facts, “his purpose was to enhance the ability of that group to commit terrorist activity.”
Mohamed met with members of the terror group but abandoned his plans when his mother and brother followed him to Turkey and convinced him to return to Canada.
Back home, he continued as an armchair instigator on social media. As Justice Bruce Durno would later determine, “His Tweets encouraged and counseled others to commit hate.”
Under several pseudonyms, Mohamed called attacks against Western targets “beautiful” and identified himself in his profile as a “supporter of international terrorism.”
He encouraged radicalized Muslims who couldn’t travel to do their part at home.
“Maybe you shouldn’t live in the lands waging war on islam unless your (sic) planning attacks against them, perhaps either get out or attack,” he wrote in one tweet.
“If someone wants to attack the west, and is scared of large-scale attacks he could start small, like burning cars and kufar [non-believers] in parking lots,” he wrote in another.
Days after the 2016 terror attacks in Belgium, a post on his Twitter account showed an image of travellers being gunned down and he asked: “Where can I get the Brussels airport MOD (modification)” for the violent video game Call of Duty?”
Two days later, Mohamed was under arrest.
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When he was tracked down hiding on the Waterloo campus, investigators found a large hunting knife in his black computer bag and in a university locker, “handwritten notes taken from Al-Qaida publications which outlined targets, how to generate a plan, discussed firearms and grenades, and preparing then executing the operation.”
Mohamed faced up to 10 years in prison, but in a sweetheart deal the Crown and defence agreed at his sentencing hearing in October 2017 that he should serve only four-and-a-half years due to his early guilty plea and agreement to enter a de-radicalization program.
But now it seems the aspiring jihadist has refused to participate in anything like that program — and yet he’s being released anyway.
Gurski worries Mohamed may now emerge from prison as a “rock star” to his followers. “And he could say, ‘If you think I was pissed off before…”
Fear not, however. The parole board has imposed conditions on his release, including staying away from Internet and taking “religious counselling” — the same counselling he’s eschewed before.
Deported 9/11 convict apparently paid 7,000 euros
Associated Press
February 28, 2019
February 28, 2019 8:48 AM EST
In this Friday, Nov. 17, 2006 photo Moroccan Mounir el Motassadeq, centre, is arrested by German police in front of his appartment in Hamburg, Germany. Fabian Bimmer / AP
BERLIN — German prosecutors said Thursday that they are investigating how a Moroccan man convicted of helping the Hamburg-based Sept. 11, 2001, suicide pilots was apparently paid some 7,000 euros ($10,525) before he was deported to his homeland last year.
Mounir el Motassadeq was deported in October, shortly before completing his 15-year sentence for membership in a terrorist organization and being an accessory to murder.
An investigation by Hamburg prosecutors centres on an apparent cash payment shortly before his release and deportation of money that had accumulated in his prison account, used in Germany to hold money earned by inmates by working and funds paid in by relatives, among other things.
The money is generally transferred to inmates on their release, but el Motassadeq was on a list of terror suspects whose assets are frozen and aren’t allowed to receive any funds. German weekly Der Spiegel first reported on the matter.
Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Nana Frombach said they are investigating a suspected violation of Germany’s foreign trade and payments act following a complaint by the country’s central bank, or Bundesbank, which is supposed to approve any exemptions from the ban on payments to people on the terror list.
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Frombach said the investigation is currently directed against persons unknown, because investigators need to clear up who ordered the alleged payment.
El Motassadeq was first arrested in Hamburg in November 2001. Following a legal saga that dragged on for years, he was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization and being an accessory to the murder of the 246 passengers and crew on the four jetliners used in the attacks in the United States in 2001.
El Motassadeq was convicted of being part of the so-called Hamburg cell, which included three of the four Sept. 11 pilots — Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah.
U.K. sex grooming gang's 'appalling catalogue of abuse'
Brad Hunter
February 28, 2019
February 28, 2019 5:31 PM EST
These nine men were convicted of being members of a sex grooming gang who raped vulnerable underage girls.
Members of a sickening sex gang which preyed on underage girls have been jailed for more than 140 years.
South Asian sex grooming gangs have become rife in the United Kingdom.
A number of inquiries have revealed that the gangs are often protected by institutional political correctness.
Now, according to the London Evening Standard, nine members of a Bradford gang have been jailed for an “appalling catalogue of abuse” against young, vulnerable girls.
The newspaper reported that the gang repeatedly raped two girls who were living in a children’s home.
Court heard the sex assaults “deprived them of their childhoods”.
The grooming gang followed a familiar pattern: Vulnerable girls were targeted, given drugs, booze and passed from man to man.
Cops say Basharat Khaliq, 45, was the sex grooming gang’s ringleader.
Even after the girls left the children’s home, the abuse continued and only came to light following another child exploitation probe.
“These two girls were deliberately targeted because of their vulnerability,” said Paula Craven, of the Child Protection Services.
“Sadly, the exploitation followed a pattern which is all too familiar in cases of this kind. These victims suffered an appalling catalogue of degrading emotional and sexual abuse which has deprived them of their childhood.”
Craven added: “Sexual exploitation impacts on victims in many different ways. It feeds on vulnerability and eats into trust and feelings of self-worth. It changes lives forever.”
Convicted were: Ringleader Basharat Khaliq, 45; Saeed Akhtar, 55; Naveed Akhtar, 43; Parvaze Ahmed, 36; Izar Hussain, 32; Zeeshan Ali, 32; Kieran Harris, 28; Fahim Iqbal, 28, and Mohammed Usman, 31.
“I would like to highlight the courage and tenacity of the victims to go through the court process and who have maintained trust in the police and the criminal justice system throughout,” Det.-Supt. Jonathan Morgan said.
They are starting to act like the Royals.
Tutor charged in sex assault of young girl
Kevin Connor
March 5, 2019
March 5, 2019 1:39 PM EST
Sexual assault suspect Nitinkumar Joshi, 55Toronto police handout
A Toronto tutor has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault involving a 13-year-old girl.
Toronto police allege the suspect, independently employed as a tutor working out of his home in the area of Lexington Ave. and Martin Grove Rd., sexually assaulted the girl between Aug. 2016 and Oct. 2018.
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He also communicated with her on social media, police say.
Nitinkumar Joshi, 55, of Toronto has been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference.
Police say he’s been known to tutor outside of his residence to both high school and university students.
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Anyone with information is asked to call 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477.)
Police hunting alleged fake Uber driving rapist
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
March 6, 2019
March 6, 2019 9:57 PM EST
Muhammad Fahad (Toronto Police photo)
An Etobicoke man accused of posing as an Uber driver and raping a female passenger is now wanted by Toronto Police after he allegedly absconded on Family Day weekend.
Muhammad Fahad, 35, who faces sexual assault and theft under $5,000 charges, had been free on a $10,000 bail since he was arrested on Aug. 21, 2017.
Police are now searching for Fahad, who has family in Pakistan.
Police alleged a man impersonated an Uber driver and picked up a woman waiting for a ride outside The Rebel night club on Aug. 20, 2017.
The fake Uber driver brought her to a secluded location where he sexually assaulted the 25-year-old terrified woman, police alleged.
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The man then dropped her off at her east GTA-area home but first he took her debit card from her purse and charged her ride.
Police found items consistent with a rape kit inside the vehicle of the alleged assailant when it was searched.
Fahad was released on bail conditions, including never working or holding himself out to be a driver or chauffeur. He is banned from The Rebel night club property on 11 Polson St. and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim. He was supposed to deposit his passport and travel documents.
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Fahad had previously worked as an Uber driver and a taxi driver, sources told the Toronto Sun.
His bail conditions also ordered him to stay at his Dixon Rd. home between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. unless he was accompanied by one of his four sureties.
Fahad never showed up at his Dixon Rd. apartment home on Family Day weekend, which violated his curfew condition. His four sureties – three of whom lived with him – withdrew a few days later.
Fahad had a trial date set for February 2020.
Arrest made in alleged TTC bus sex assault
Kevin Connor
March 7, 2019
March 7, 2019 1:44 PM EST
An image released by Toronto Police of a suspect in an alleged sex assault on a TTC bus on Feb. 28.
A suspect wanted in an alleged sexual assault on a TTC bus late last month has been arrested
On Feb. 28 around 3:30 p.m., Toronto Police say a man allegedly sexually assaulted another passenger on a northbound bus on Islington Ave. He then exited in the Steeles Ave. W. area.
Police released an image of a suspect last week in hopes of identifying him.
On Thursday they announced that with the public’s assistance, a suspect had been arrested.
Babamu Ibrahim Hussain, 35, of Toronto, is charged with sexual assault.
MANDEL: Former anesthetist and serial sex abuser George Doodnaught seeks parole
Michele Mandel
March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019 10:16 PM EST
Dr. George Doodnaught a prominent North York anesthesiologist was found guilty in 2013 of sexually assaulting 21 patients while unconscious and recovering from surgery. (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)
After serving half of his 10-year sentence for sexually assaulting 21 patients, disgraced former anesthesiologist George Doodnaught believes he’s done his time.
Even if his victims continue to suffer.
The Sun has learned Doodnaught, 70, is applying for full parole next month from his minimum security prison in Gravenhurst, the same camp-like centre that houses drunk driving killer Marco Muzzo. When he appears before the parole board to plead his case, sitting there will be at least four former patients determined to stop his release.
At the forefront is Debra Dreise, Doodnaught’s final victim and the fearless woman who went to Toronto Police in 2010 and finally ended his reign of bedside terror.
“It boggles my mind: Not only did he get a light sentence of only 10 years — but he’s already applying for full parole,” says Dreise. “For the 21 women he was convicted of assaulting, that only amounts to 2.85 months per victim. I don’t think that’s enough.”
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The father of five was convicted Nov. 19, 2013, on 21 counts of sexual assault, almost all committed while the female patients were undergoing procedures at North York General Hospital where he was a respected anesthesiologist known for his “touchy-feely” approach.
Ranging in age from 25 to 75, the women were under conscious sedation and unable to resist when Doodnaught used their bodies to satisfy his perverted sexual needs. Some were fondled and kissed while others were forced to perform fellatio or manually masturbate Doodnaught during operations that spanned from 2006 to 2010 — all while he hid behind the blue privacy curtain that spanned the operating table.
Debra Dreise refuses to be one of George Doodnaught’s nameless and faceless victims anymore. She was the final patient sexually assaulted by the disgraced anesthesiologist. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)
Some of the women tried to come forward, but no one believed them. Before Dreise, four patients had complained to the hospital only to have their memories dismissed as drug-induced hallucinations. And so he continued.
While Doodnaught was eventually convicted of assaulting 21 women, the College of Physicians and Surgeons — when revoking his licence last year — found there were actually 31 victims in all, with his crimes dating back to 1992. In addition to losing his right to practise medicine, he was ordered to pay $497,860 to cover counselling costs.
Doodnaught lost an appeal of his conviction in 2014 and began serving his 10-year sentence at Warkworth Penitentiary and was transferred this past December to Beaver Creek Institution.
Dreise doesn’t understand how he can apply for parole when he’s never accepted responsibility for what he’s done to so many women.
“I don’t think he’s ever indicated he’s remorseful for what he did,” she says. “Somebody like that, who is all about power and control, he isn’t rehabilitated. He’s just older.”
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In her victim impact statement she’s submitted to the parole board, the 48-year-old mother of two has tried to explain how she is still haunted by the assault. Her panic attacks and anxiety are so debilitating that she still hasn’t been able to return to work as a financial advisor at a bank.
Her twins were just a year old when she went to NYGH for a hysterectomy . While in a twilight, conscious sedation and unable to move due to an epidural, Doodnaught kissed her, molested her breast and forced his penis into her mouth.
“I continue to have nightmares,” Dreise explains. “If I see somebody who resembles him, my body goes into a reaction that is crippling. I begin shaking and I can’t control it.”
So as determined as she is to attend Doodnaught’s parole hearing, she is terrified of being back in such close proximity to the serial predator. She’s also been warned that he’ll likely get parole no matter what she says. Still, she feels she must be there to speak out — for herself, her fellow victims and as an example to others.
“Yeah, it’s scary,” Dreise acknowledges. “But we’ve got to take a stand and explain how it’s impacted us and at least have our voices heard.”
And to show her sick abuser that she is not the weak or helpless victim he hoped she’d be.
Accused rapist wins new immigration hearing
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
March 11, 2019
March 12, 2019 8:47 AM EDT
Muhammad Fahad (Toronto Police photo)
An Etobicoke man accused of posing as an Uber driver and raping a female passenger is a refugee claimant who alleges the Taliban marked him for death and terrified his family after he donated $700 to a Christian church in Pakistan.
Muhammad Fahad, whose refugee claim was denied last January, will have a new hearing — if he shows up.
Fahad’s appeal lawyer, Christina Gural, and Department of Justice counsel agreed adjudicator Rose Andrachuk made some mistakes in her judgment last January and both consented to a new hearing.
Fahad is on the lam after he allegedly absconded on Family Day weekend from sexual assault and theft charges stemming from an August 2017 incident.
Fahad, 35, a self-described liberal Sunni Muslim, wanted to marry a Lithuanian Christian woman. He fled his native Pakistan in January 2012 for Canada on a visitor’s visa. Within a week, Fahad pursued a refugee claim.
Earlier, Fahad upset his uncle by rejecting an arranged a marriage to his daughter, so his uncle spread false rumours that Fahad converted to Christianity, immigration documents revealed.
Fahad was subsequently fired from his job by his “fanatic Muslim” employer in United Arab Emirates, Fahad’s affidavit stated.
Police hunting alleged fake Uber driving rapist
In January 2012, Taliban terrorists attacked his parents’ home by “forcefully trying to enter” and “shooting off gunfire” outside.
The next day, the Taliban threatened to “behead” Fahad as soon as they saw him, stated Fahad. Taliban gangsters kept terrorizing his family to turn him over.
“The extremists demanded $4,000 Canadian from his family for the unpardonable sin of donating funds to a Christian church, accusing him of being an agent of Christianity and threatening death,” Fahad said in his affidavit.
The family paid the ransom but the terror never stopped. In September 2013, four masked men invaded the parents’ home.
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A fatwa — death sentence imposed by religious decree — was imposed in April 2014. Fahad’s family posted a notice of disinheritance, but their Taliban tormentors never quit.
Two masked home invaders struck in October 2015, assaulting them and setting his house on fire, the documents stated.
Last January, the Immigration Refugee Board ruled that Fahad was not credible and denied his refugee claim.
Fahad has been free on a $10,000 bail since he was arrested on Aug. 21, 2017. Police alleged a man impersonated an Uber driver, picking up a woman waiting for a ride outside The Rebel night club on Aug. 20, 2017.
The fake Uber driver brought her to a secluded spot where the woman was sexually assaulted, according to police.
Man faces 19 charges in human trafficking of three teens
Canadian Press
March 14, 2019
March 14, 2019 2:19 PM EDT
Alijah Weir-Mohammed, 23, of no fixed address, is charged with human trafficking in Durham Region.
A man wanted in multiple human trafficking investigations in Ontario has been arrested.
Durham Regional Police did not indicate the other jurisdictions where the man is wanted, but say he faces 19 charges related to incidents in their region.
The charges, which include human trafficking, sexual assault and forcible confinement, relate to three alleged female victims, aged 14, 15 and 19.
Alijah Weir-Mohamed, of no fixed address, was arrested on Wednesday in Bowmanville after a brief struggle, police said, adding they are looking for four more men in connection with the case.
Weir-Mohamed is also known as: Mike, Q, M.K Mason, Alijah Mercer, Alijah Mohammad, M.K. Young, Alijah Weir, MYKAH, and A.J.
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Police say they want to ensure there are no other victims and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5600.
Born into al-Qaida: Hamza bin Laden’s rise to prominence
Associated Press
March 17, 2019
March 17, 2019 9:51 PM EDT
In this image from video released by the CIA on Nov. 1, 2017, Hamza bin Laden is shown at his wedding. (CIA via AP, File)AP
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The boy is only 12 years old and looks even younger and smaller kneeling next to the wreckage of a helicopter, flanked by masked jihadis carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles with bandoliers strapped across their chests.
Hamza bin Laden, with a traditional Arab coffee pot to his right and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to his left leaning against the debris, made his worldwide television debut reciting a poem in a propaganda video just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks planned by his father Osama.
Years after the death of his father at the hands of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan, it is now Hamza bin Laden who finds himself squarely in the crosshairs of world powers. In rapid succession in recent weeks, the U.S. put a bounty of up to a $1 million for him; the U.N. Security Council named him to a global sanctions list, sparking a new Interpol notice for his arrest; and his home country of Saudi Arabia revealed it had revoked his citizenship.
This wanted poster released by the U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice program shows Hamza bin Laden. (U.S. Department of State Rewards for Justice via AP, File)
Those measures suggest that international officials believe the now 30-year-old militant is an increasingly serious threat. He is not the head of al-Qaida but he has risen in prominence within the terror network his father founded, and the group may be grooming him to stand as a leader for a young generation of militants.
“Hamza was destined to be in his father’s footsteps,” said Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent focused on counterterrorism who investigated al-Qaida’s attack on the USS Cole. “He is poised to have a senior leadership role in al-Qaida.”
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Much remains unknown about him — particularly, the key question of where he is — but his life has mirrored al-Qaida’s path, moving quietly and steadily forward, outlasting its offshoot and rival, the Islamic State group.
Hamza bin Laden’s exact date of birth remains disputed, but most put it in 1989. That was a year of transition for his father, who had gained attention for his role in supplying money and arms to the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Osama bin Laden himself was one of over 50 children of a wealthy, royally connected construction magnate in the kingdom.
As the war wound down, bin Laden emerged as the leader of a new group that sought to leverage that global network brought together in Afghanistan for a new jihad. They named it al-Qaida, or “the base” in Arabic.
Already, bin Laden had met and married Khairiah Saber, a child psychologist from Saudi Arabia’s port city of Jiddah who reportedly had treated bin Laden’s son by another wife, Saad, for autism. She gave birth to Hamza, their only child together, as al-Qaida itself took its first, tentative steps toward the Sept. 11 attacks.
“This boy has been living, breathing and experiencing the al-Qaida life since age zero,” said Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow at Pembroke College at Oxford University who studies Hamza bin Laden.
Hamza, whose name means “lion” or “strength” in Arabic, was a toddler when the bin Ladens’ life in exile began. They moved to Sudan after bin Laden’s criticism of the kingdom hosting American forces during the 1991 Gulf War alienated the Al Saud royal family.
Under growing international pressure after bin Laden declared holy war on the U.S., Sudan pushed him out and the family moved again to Afghanistan in 1996. Hamza bin Laden was 7.
Al-Qaida’s attacks against the U.S. began in earnest in 1998 with the dual bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Its 2000 suicide attack against the USS Cole off Yemen killed at least 17 sailors.
Hamza bin Laden appeared in photographs alongside his father or in propaganda videos in this time, hanging from monkey bars in military-style training or reciting a poem in classical Arabic, garbed in a camouflage vest.
In this Nov. 5, 2001 image made from video broadcast by the Qatari-based television station Al-Jazeera, a young boy, centre, identified as Hamza bin Laden, reads a poem about Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in Ghazni, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Al-Jazeera via APTN, File) AP
Then came Sept. 11, 2001. The co-ordinated al-Qaida hijacking sent two U.S. commercial airliners slamming into the World Trade Center in New York, one striking the Pentagon and another crashing in rural Pennsylvania, all together killing nearly 3,000 people.
So at age 12, Hamza bin Laden appeared in the video above the wreckage of a helicopter, likely a remnant of the Soviet occupation, not a U.S. warplane as al-Qaida claimed at the time.
He recited a poem praising his father’s ally, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, as the “lion of Kabul,” ran in a field with other boys and held a pistol above his head as if fearless of American airstrikes. It marked the last moments before the U.S.-led invasion would topple the Taliban and send Osama bin Laden fleeing into the mountains of Tora Bora and, from there, Pakistan.
Hamza later remembered receiving prayer beads from his father with his brother Khalid before leaving him.
“It was as if we pulled out our livers and left them there,” he wrote.
And then, like his father, Hamza bin Laden disappeared.
Hamza bin Laden and his mother followed other al-Qaida members into Pakistan amid the U.S.-led coalition bombing campaign on Afghanistan. From there, they crossed into Iran, where other al-Qaida leaders hid them in a series of safe houses, according to experts and analysis of documents seized after the U.S. Navy SEAL team raid that killed the elder bin Laden in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.
The connection between al-Qaida and Iran has been a murky one, firmly disputed by Tehran. Iran, the Mideast’s predominant Shiite power, on its face seems a strange home for the Sunni Arab militants. Sunni extremists views Shiites as heretics and target them for violence.
But al-Qaida under Osama bin Laden made inroads with Iran during his days in Sudan, according to the U.S. government’s 9-11 Commission. The commission said al-Qaida militants later received training in Lebanon from the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which Iran backs to this day.
Before the Sept. 11 attacks, Iran allowed al-Qaida militants to pass through its borders without receiving stamps in their passports or with visas obtained at its consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, according to a 19-page, unsigned report found among Osama bin Laden’s personnel effects in the Abbottabad raid. That helped the organization’s Saudi members avoid suspicion. They also had contact with Iranian intelligence agents, according to the report.
Iran offered al-Qaida fighters “money and arms and everything they need, and offered them training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in return for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia,” the report said.
This matches up with the 9-11 Commission’s report, which found that eight of the Sept. 11 hijackers passed through Iran before arriving in the United States. However, the commission “found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9-11 attack.”
It’s unclear why Iran allowed the al-Qaida members, including bin Laden’s children and wives, to enter the country immediately after the 9-11 attacks. Iran’s president at the time, the reformist politician Mohamed Khatami, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the attack, and Iran helped the ensuing U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. However, by January 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush declared Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil” alongside Iraq and North Korea.
Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment.
By April 2003, just weeks into the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iranian intelligence officials had had enough of al-Qaida being beyond their control. It rounded up all the al-Qaida members it could find and detained them, apparently at a series of military bases or other closed-off compounds, according to contemporaneous accounts by several al-Qaida militants.
In Iran, Hamza’s mother Khairiah Saber urged the al-Qaida lieutenants there to take her son — now a teenager — under their wing. Hamza wrote to his father recounting the Islamic theology books he studied in detention, while expressing frustration that he was not among the jihadis in battle.
“The mujahedeen have impressed greatly in the field of long victories, and I am still standing in my place, prohibited by the steel shackles,” Hamza wrote in one of his letters found at Abbottabad. “I dread spending the rest of my young adulthood behind iron bars.”
But those shackles ended up keeping him and the other al-Qaida members safe as the U.S. under Bush and later President Barack Obama targeted militants across the Mideast in a campaign of drone strikes. Hamza’s half brother Saad escaped Iranian custody and made it to Pakistan, only to be immediately killed by an American strike in 2009.
“That probably saved (Hamza) that he was in Iran during that period where everyone else was being knocked off, detained,” said Tricia Bacon, an assistant professor at American University who focuses on al-Qaida and once worked in counterterrorism at the State Department. “It probably was one of the better places to be able to re-emerge at a later time.”
Hamza during this time even married into al-Qaida, picking a daughter of Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, an Egyptian who the U.S. says helped plan the November 1998 embassy attacks. The two had two children, Osama and Khairiah, named after his parents.
“I ask God to place their image in your eye,” Hamza wrote his father. “He created them to serve you.”
By this time, rumours of al-Qaida members being in Iran had reached a fever pitch. A teenage daughter of Osama bin Laden, Eman, somehow escaped imprisonment in late 2009 and made her way to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Iran’s then-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the time: “We don’t know how this person went to the embassy or how she entered the country.”
Khalid bin Laden, another son of the wanted terrorist, later would write a letter that was posted online and addressed to Iran’s supreme leader saying his siblings were “beaten and repressed.”
After years of imprisonment, an opportunity emerged for the al-Qaida members held in Iran. Gunmen in late 2008 kidnapped an Iranian diplomat in northwestern Pakistan. He would be freed in March 2010 as Hamza and others also left custody.
Osama bin Laden thought of sending Hamza to Qatar for religious scholarship, but his son instead went to Pakistan’s Waziristan province, where he asked for weapons training, according to a letter to the elder bin Laden. His mother left for Abbottabad immediately, where her husband was in hiding, with Hamza hoping to come as well.
But on May 2, 2011, the Navy SEAL team raided Abbottabad, killing Osama bin Laden and Khalid, as well as others. Saber and other wives living in the house were imprisoned. Hamza again disappeared.
In August 2015, a video emerged on jihadi websites of Ayman al-Zawahri, the current leader of al-Qaida, introducing “a lion from the den of al-Qaida” — Hamza bin Laden. The younger bin Laden was not shown in the video, speaking only in an audio recording. With a voice deepened from the tinny recitals he offered as a child, he praised al-Qaida’s franchises and other militants.
“What America and its allies fear the most is that we take the battlefield from Kabul, Baghdad, and Gaza to Washington, London, Paris, and Tel Aviv, and to take it to all the American, Jewish, and Western interests in the world,” he said.
Since then, he has been featured in around a dozen al-Qaida messages, delivering speeches on everything from the war in Syria to Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as U.S. president. His style resembles his father’s, with references to religious studies and snippets of poetry, a contrast to the gory beheading videos of the Islamic State group, which had risen up from al-Qaida in Iraq to seize territory across Iraq and Syria.
“He’s not blood and guts,” said Kendall, the senior research fellow at Pembroke College at Oxford University. “His speeches are more literary and educated.”
While al-Zawahri still controls al-Qaida, the multiple messages have raised speculation that the terror group may be trying to plan for the future by putting forward a fresh face — albeit one they have so far only showed in old photographs of Hamza bin Laden as a child.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State group has seen its territory slip away as it was pounded by a U.S.-led coalition, Russian airstrikes and Iranian-backed forces.
That has left al-Qaida as the prominent jihadi group standing.
“I think as ISIS’ strength continues to deteriorate, the international community has perhaps realized that there are other terrorist groups — including the ones that never went away, such as al-Qaida,” said Sajjan Gohel, the international security director of the United Kingdom-based Asia-Pacific Foundation, using another acronym for the Islamic State group.
“In fact, al-Qaida has been quietly growing, regaining strength, letting ISIS take all the hits while they quietly reconstitute themselves,” he added.
The State Department named Hamza bin Laden as a “global terrorist” in 2017, then followed up in February with the bounty on his head as the U.N. blacklisted him.
The designations show officials consider him a threat.
“There is probably other intelligence that indicates something’s happening and that’s what put this thing on the front burner,” said Soufan, the former FBI agent.
But what’s happening within al-Qaida remains a mystery. Hamza bin Laden hasn’t been heard from since a message in March 2018, in which he threatened the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Why remains in question. Rumours have circulated he himself was targeted in an attack. The CIA also published video of him in November 2017 at his wedding in Iranian detention, showing the first publicly known photographs of him since childhood.
An image from that video now graces his U.S. wanted poster.
“Will he be successful? We don’t know. Will he live long to do what his father was able to do? We have no idea. We might drone him tomorrow,” Soufan said. “But this is the plan. This is what they wanted to do. This is what he is destined, I believe, to do from the beginning.”
Suspect confesses to Utrecht tram shooting, says he acted alone
Associated Press
March 22, 2019
March 22, 2019 11:13 AM EDT
Gokmen Tanis is led away by police in Utrecht, Netherlands, Monday March 18, 2019, after a shooting incident on a tram. (Foto de Volkskrant via AP)
UTRECHT, Netherlands — The main suspect in a deadly shooting in a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht has confessed to the attack and said he acted alone, prosecutors announced Friday.
The shooting is being investigated as a possible extremist attack, but prosecutors would not say if the suspect, Gokmen Tanis, has said anything about his motive.
“The 37-year-old suspect this morning confessed the criminal acts he is charged with” at a hearing before an investigating judge, the public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on the confession and said the motive for Monday’s attack, which left three people dead and three more seriously wounded, remains under investigation.
Tanis, a Utrecht resident of Turkish descent, was arrested hours after the shooting and is being held on charges including multiple murder or manslaughter with terrorist intent.
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Prosecutors have said the suspect, who has a long criminal record, did not know any of those who were shot on the tram, according to their investigations so far.
They say the nature of the shooting and a note found in a getaway car led to strong suspicions of an extremist motive.
In a statement Thursday, the local prosecution office said investigations also are continuing into whether the suspect’s actions “flowed from personal problems combined with a radicalized ideology.”
The team investigating the shooting has asked a forensic psychiatry and psychology institute to carry out a personality test on the suspect.
At Friday’s behind-closed-doors hearing, an investigating judge extended Tanis’ detention by two weeks so that investigations can continue. In a statement, the court said the judge ruled that “the suspicion is strong enough to detain the man for longer.”
A 40-year-old man who was detained a day after the shooting because Tanis was arrested at his home has been released without charge after no evidence was found that the man helped Tanis in the shooting, prosecutors said.
Later Friday, a silent march will be held from Utrecht’s main railway station to the intersection where the shooting happened in a show of solidarity with the victims. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the mayors of the Netherlands’ four biggest cities are to take part.
LEVY: Amber Alert for slain girl, 11, set off wave of 911 complaints
Sue-Ann Levy
March 23, 2019
March 23, 2019 6:38 PM EDT
Riya Rajkumar (Peel Police handout)
The night an Amber Alert was issued for a missing girl — later found murdered in Brampton — callers “misused” the 911 system to levy insensitive complaints about the national emergency system, a newly released report says.
The report to the Peel Police Services Board states 911 calls increased by 65% in the four hours after the alert was issued for Riya Rajkumar late on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, which was also her 11th birthday.
Some 43% of the 208 calls received were determined to be “misuse” of the 911 system, the report says.
The young girl was found dead in the basement of her father’s Brampton home an hour after the alert was issued at 11:30 p.m.
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Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, who was found and arrested north of Toronto as a result of the alert, was charged with first-degree murder in her abduction. He died in hospital six days later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound suffered prior to his arrest.
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The report says while many citizens called to assist the investigation, others were displeased with having their TV programs interrupted — particularly the Leafs game.
A sample of recorded calls — provided in the report — includes complaints the Alert was an “invasion of privacy.”
Other callers chastised police for “destroying” their TV show.
“No one can watch TV until this child is found…you can’t take away TV completely…it has to be secondary,” one caller said.
Still others — without a trace of embarrassment it seems — claimed it was not a “national emergency” because the young girl was with her father.
Another wanted to lodge a complaint that police were “abusing” the National Emergency System.
The report adds that complaints continued to come into 911 and through the Peel police switchboard “well into the day” on Feb. 15 — after it had become clear that young Riya Rajkumar was dead.
Saudis shattering execution record with 43 beheadings
Brad Hunter
March 26, 2019
March 26, 2019 6:39 PM EDT
A doomed man in Saudi Arabia enjoys a final smoke before his beheading. GETTY IMAGES
Canada’s fiendish frenemy Saudi Arabia is on track to shatter its execution record in 2019.
So far this year, the Saudis have sent an eye-popping 43 people to their deaths in the first quarter of the year.
The most recent unfortunate member of this fraternity of the doomed was a Syrian amphetamine smuggler who was beheaded on March 13.
According to Amnesty International, at their current pace, the Saudis will have executed 172 people by New Year’s Eve. Most of the state-sponsored killings are done by public beheading.
Crown Prince of Death Mohammed bin Salman. SAUDI PRESS ASSOCIATION
About 21 of the executed were for drug offences. Other “crimes” that can send you to the chopping block in the desert kingdom are adultery, renouncing Islam, treason, espionage, burglary, murder, terrorism, rape and sorcery.
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Human rights activists are pointing the finger at the Crown Prince of Death, Mohammed bin Salman.
Executions have doubled on his watch but he has also launched a number of liberalizing measures, including allowing women to drive.
From the time he took power in June 2017 to March 2018, 133 of those condemned to die were executed, compared to just 67 in the eight months prior.
About half were poor South Asian migrants who smuggled drugs in desperation.
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But despite the best efforts of the prince, Saudi Arabia languishes in third place in the world’s execution sweepstakes, behind death machine nations like China, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.
The country also maintains a bizarre catalogue of punishments for various and sundry crimes, including crucifixion, amputation, eye-gouging, paralysis, stoning and flogging.
Missing Quebec woman Edith Blais kidnapped, taken to Mali: Human Rights Watch
Canadian Press
March 30, 2019
March 30, 2019 11:25 PM EDT
Luca Tacchetto and Edith Blais are seen in this undated handout photo from the Facebook page "Edith Blais et Luca Tacchetto : disparition au Burkina Faso."HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS
A Canadian woman who’s been missing in West Africa for several months has reportedly been kidnapped and taken to Mali.
Edith Blais of Quebec and her travel companion, Luca Taccheto of Italy, went missing in December while travelling in Burkina Faso.
They were travelling by car in southwestern Burkina Faso en route to Togo, where they planned to do volunteer work with an aid group.
In a January statement, Burkina Faso’s government referred to the pair’s disappearance as a kidnapping.
The Canadian government did not confirm the information, but said it was not ruling out any possibilities.
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However, a recent report by Human Rights Watch indicates that they were indeed abducted.
“While no armed Islamist group has taken responsibility for their abduction, they are believed to have been kidnapped and later taken to Mali,” the reported, titled “Abuses by Armed Islamist Groups in Burkina Faso’s Sahel Region,” states. It cites an interview with Malian security sources on Jan. 13.
The report, published March 22 on the organization’s website, does not mention the fate of the two travellers.
In January, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believed Edith Blais was still alive.
“As far as we know, she is,” Trudeau said when asked by a reporter whether Blais was still alive. He said Blais’ story has people across the country preoccupied.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Edith Blais and the entire community,” he said at the time.
His statement came the day after another Canadian, Kirk Woodman, was found dead in northern Burkina Faso, close to the border with Mali and Niger. An executive with a Vancouver-based mining company, Woodman had been kidnapped a day earlier by gunmen as he worked on a gold mining project.
Youth in Kingston terrorism case released gets bail
Canadian Press
April 3, 2019
April 3, 2019 7:46 PM EDT
KINGSTON, Ont. — A youth charged with terrorism-related offences has been released under strict conditions following a bail hearing in Kingston, Ont.
The youth, who cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, will be required to be in the presence of one of two approved family members at all times.
He is also forbidden to use the internet unless it’s approved for education reasons and he must remain in Ontario, surrender his passport and wear an RCMP-supplied electronic-monitoring device.
The two family members are responsible for ensuring the youth abides by his release conditions and could be charged themselves if he violates them.
A Canadian police investigation sparked by a tip from the FBI culminated in his arrest in January. Police said at the time that the youth had plotted a terrorist attack but had not chosen a specific target.
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Clad in a purple jacket, the youth sat bowed over, looking at the floor, during much of the two hours that Justice Herbert Kreling took to review the arguments made by defence lawyer Simon Borys and the Crown over the course of three days of hearings.
But he smiled numerous times after Kreling announced the decision to release him from custody.
None of the evidence, submissions or reasons presented during the hearing can be published under a separate publication ban that covers bail hearings, during which the Crown can present a great deal of evidence with minimal reply from the defence.
“Ultimately, the justice of the peace concluded that the young person could be released in the circumstances described in the release documents,” Borys said to reporters after his client was released. “Obviously the young person is quite happy with that decision.”
The Crown does have the right to ask another judge to review Kreling’s decision, Borys said, even as he asked the public to trust it.
“I understand the concern that people may have given the nature of the allegations,” he said. “At the end of the day, the justice of the peace determined in this case that the risk to the public, among other things, could be managed with the young person’s release. So we respect that decision and ask other people as well to trust in the system as well that that has been addressed and balanced against other competing interests.”
The youth was charged in January with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and counselling another person to “deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or other lethal device” in a public place.
He was subsequently charged last month with uttering a threat as well as “making, or having in his possession or under his care of control an explosive substance” designed to endanger life “or cause serious damage to property.”
The youth is also accused of “doing anything with intent” to cause harm or death using an explosive.
He is scheduled to make his next appearance in court on April 30.
MANDEL: Toronto neurosurgeon pleads guilty in wife's murder
Michele Mandel
April 8, 2019
April 8, 2019 8:56 PM EDT
It came horribly late, but wife killer Dr. Mohammed Shamji has finally spared at least one female in his life.
On the eve of his trial for the first-degree murder of his physician wife, Elana Fric, the Toronto neurosurgeon entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser count of second-degree murder — and so his oldest daughter won’t have to testify against him and describe the final horrific moments of her mother’s life.
She was just 11 when she awoke to the sound of her parents arguing in their North York bedroom. “She heard banging, her mom scream, then silence,” according to the agreed statement of facts. “The 11-year-old went to her parents’ room to investigate. She was ordered back to bed by her father.”
But he can no longer hide the monster that he is. The beautiful and poised now 14-year-old – along with her younger sister – watched him finally admit to what he has stolen from them.
Elana Fric Shamji is pictured in this undated handout photo. (Handout/Postmedia Network) Chris Doucette / Chris Doucette/Toronto Sun
“None of the children have laid eyes on their father since his (Dec. 2, 2016) arrest,” explained Jean DeMarco, lawyer for the maternal grandparents, who have custody of Fric’s three children. “We thought it was probably best if they were not in the courtroom but the eldest was fairly adamant that she be.”
But when they began to read out the grisly facts of their mom’s slaying, her 11-year-old sister had to rush from the courtroom.
Fric, 40, a well-loved family physician at Scarborough Hospital and a key member of the Ontario Medical Association’s policy committee, died of strangulation and blunt force trauma sometime between the evening of Nov. 30 and the morning of Dec. 1, 2016. Her husband, a student of ju jitsu, had inflicted a battery of injuries, including breaking her neck, 20 blunt force impacts to her head, and 22 to her limbs.
Shamji then stuffed her body in a suitcase that he threw in the Humber River, near Kleinberg.
Experts have always warned that the most dangerous time for a woman is when she announces she’s leaving a difficult relationship. After a turbulent 12-year marriage fraught with emotional and physical abuse — in 2005, Shamji entered into a peace bond admitting his wife has reason to fear he’d “cause personal injury to her” — Fric served her husband with divorce papers on Nov. 28, 2016.
Mother of Dr. Elana Fric leaves 361 University Ave courthouse after Dr. Mohammed Shamji pleads to second degree murder on Monday April 8, 2019. (Craig Robertson, Toronto Sun)
Her lawyer says Fric wanted her abuse kept out of the court record. “She didn’t want her children to know that their father was a monster.”
She locked herself in a basement bedroom and asked a friend, “What if he really hurts me this time?”
Fric had reason to fear. Just days later Shamji killed her.
Wearing a dark grey suit, he stood with his hands clasped before him as Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon went through a series of questions to ensure he realized his guilty plea would entail an automatic life sentence with no eligibility of parole for at least 10 years and perhaps as long as 25.
Shamji, 43, was then asked how he wished to plead to the second-degree murder of his wife. “Guilty,” he replied softly.
Dr. Mohammed Shamji, 40, and Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji, 40, are shown in this image from Fric-Shamji’s facebook page. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Victim impact statements will be heard May 8. With credit for pre-trial custody, Shamji could face as little as six more years behind bars if McMahon sentences him to the minimum possible parole ineligibility.
“Justice there will never be for us, never,” Fric’s mother, Ana, told reporters. “The only justice we will have is if she can come back. And she will never come back.”
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Their marriage a facade
They looked like they had it all: Powerful careers, a glamorous lifestyle and most of all, a dream marriage.
But it was all a facade. Fric called it “Fakebook.”
Married in 2004, their “marriage was volatile and dysfunctional, marred by reports of verbal, emotional and at times physical abuse of Elana by Mohammed,” the court heard in an agreed statement of facts. “In May of 2016, after years of unhappiness, Elana initiated divorce proceedings against her husband.”
Shamji pleaded for another chance. She agreed. But as their marriage continued to deteriorate, Fric began an affair with a married doctor.
In October, she went to a divorce lawyer but once again, relented after Shamji begged for more time.
On Nov. 28, 2016, after Shamji was served with divorce papers, the situation became “volatile” in their home. On the night of Nov. 30. their loud altercation woke their eldest daughter.
“Mohammed struck Elana multiple times, causing her significant blunt-force injuries all over her body, including a broken neck and broken ribs,” according to the court synopsis. “He then choked her to death.”
After dumping her body in the Humber River, Shamji carried on his daily routine, even performing surgery, all while planting phone messages to point the finger at his wife’s lover.
But Fric had told too many about her fear of her violent husband. “If I ever go missing, or if something ever happens to me, you’ll know who did it,” she told Neely Savard.
Days after the murder, Shamji was under arrest.
Testimony from the preliminary hearing painted a portrait of abuse at the hands of the possessive and controlling Mohammed Shamji:
— When Elana became pregnant, Elana told Dr. (Jen) Frendo that Mohammed threatened to kill her if she didn’t have an abortion.
— In May 2016, she posted anonymously on a physician mother’s group: “Just found out my husband is re-connecting with mistress — confirmed my suspicion. He doesn’t know that I know, I’m living each day as though it is normal but I’m dead inside.”
— She told friend Neely Savard that Shamji told her his mistress was a better lover than she was and that she feared for her safety.
— Elana told her lawyer that in May 2016, Shamji choked her to unconsciousness and she passed out.
— She told friend Dr. Samantha Hill that during a recent argument on a family ski trip, Shamji said she wasn’t going anywhere and threatened to sever the tendons in her arm if she left. “What if he really hurts me this time?” she asked Hill before pausing and saying, “he is not that stupid.”
— She told both her lawyer and her lover that she awoke on two different nights to find Shamji sexually assaulting her. She refused to go to police. “I don’t understand how this could happen,” she told her lawyer. “I’m so smart, I’m a doctor. I don’t understand how this could happen.”
Cleric from Qatar films guide on how Muslim men should beat their wives

Halifax shopping mall shooting spree plotter appeals sentence
Canadian Press
April 16, 2019
April 16, 2019 1:25 PM EDT
American Lindsay Souvannarath heads from provincial court in Halifax on Friday, March 6, 2015.Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS
HALIFAX — The lawyer for an American woman who plotted a Valentine’s Day shooting spree at a Halifax mall was questioned in court today about whether the potential threat his client posed to the public played a role in her sentencing.
The question was raised as three members of Nova Scotia’s top court heard arguments in an appeal of Lindsay Souvannarath’s sentence.
Souvannarath was sentenced last April to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a 2015 plot to shoot people at the Halifax Shopping Centre.
Souvannarath scheduled eerie post-massacre Tumblr post
The woman from the Chicago area wants the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to change her sentence to a fixed term of 12 to 14 years.
Justice Anne Derrick wondered whether “future dangerousness” was one on the main considerations of the trial judge when he sentenced her.
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Lawyer Peter Planetta told court he believes it was a consideration in light of a previous Supreme Court of Canada decision related to an Ontario terrorism case, but he said the previous case involved “hardened terrorists” and Souvannarath’s case “pales in comparison.”
Crown lawyer Tim O’Leary told the court he believes the sentence was appropriate, though it was on the top end of what’s recommended for the offence.
The three-judge panel reserved its decision.
Souvannarath, 26, was not in court Tuesday.
Planetta argued the appeal on several grounds, including that the presiding judge committed an error by imposing a burden on Souvannarath to prove she was remorseful and had renounced anti-social beliefs.
Souvannarath pleaded guilty in April 2017, about six months after Randall Shepherd — a Halifax man described in court as the “cheerleader” of the foiled plot — was sentenced to a decade in jail.
A third alleged conspirator, 19-year-old James Gamble, was found dead in his Halifax-area home a day before the planned attack.
The origin of the conspiracy was traced back to December 2014, when Souvannarath and Gamble began an online relationship.
Montrealer gets life for Michigan airport terror attack
Associated Press
April 19, 2019
April 19, 2019 8:14 AM EDT
This undated file photo released by the FBI shows Amor Ftouhi. FBI via AP, File
FLINT, Mich. — A Canadian man convicted of terrorism for nearly killing a Michigan police officer while yelling “God is great” in Arabic was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, after boldly declaring that he only regretted not having a machine-gun during the knife attack.
Amor Ftouhi’s statements stunned U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman, who said he’d been “wrestling very hard” with a decision about whether to allow the Tunisia native a chance to someday be released from prison.
Leitman said the remarks “persuaded me beyond any shadow of a doubt” that a life term was appropriate for the 51-year-old Ftouhi, who moved to Montreal in 2007.
“He was crystal clear today: If he had the opportunity to kill more people, he would,” the judge said.
Ftouhi drove 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometres) from Montreal to the airport in Flint, Michigan, where he repeatedly stabbed Lt. Jeff Neville in the neck in June 2017.
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Investigators said Ftouhi wanted to take Neville’s gun and start shooting people at Bishop Airport. Ftouhi legally entered the U.S. at Champlain, New York, and arrived in Flint five days later. He tried but failed to buy a gun at a gun show and instead bought a large knife.
“Do I regret what I did? Never,” Ftouhi told the judge inside a federal courtroom in Flint. “I regret I didn’t get that machine-gun. I regret I didn’t kill that cop.”
Ftouhi said he had a good education and many skills but felt discrimination in Canada because he wasn’t a white Christian. He pledged allegiance to his Muslim faith and said western countries and Arabic countries should be cursed if they “don’t rule according to Allah.”
He was convicted in November of terrorism and two other crimes.
Neville survived the attack but has lost feeling on the right side of his face. He retired from the airport police department because of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“He picked the wrong Americans to attack that day,” Neville told Leitman, referring to fellow officers and witnesses who saved him and pounced on Ftouhi. “He should never walk the streets as a free man again.”
Ftouhi’s attorney, Joan Morgan, argued for a 25-year prison sentence in solitary confinement, saying it would effectively be a life term because of Ftouhi’s age. The judge praised Morgan’s work but repeatedly challenged her over the recommendation, especially after Ftouhi’s courtroom remarks.
Morgan said Ftouhi’s mental health had deteriorated at the time of the attack and has slipped even further during 22 months in custody awaiting trial and sentencing.
“People change. … He is more than what his actions were,” Morgan said.
Bangladesh teen burned to death for reporting sex assault sparks protests
Associated Press
April 19, 2019
April 19, 2019 10:03 AM EDT
Protesters hold placards and gather to demand justice for an 18-year-old woman who was killed after she was set on fire for refusing to drop sexual harassment charges against her Islamic school's principal, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, April 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Mahmud Hossain Opu)
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Dozens of protesters gathered in Bangladesh’s capital on Friday to demand justice for an 18-year-old woman who died after being set on fire for refusing to drop sexual harassment charges against her Islamic school’s principal.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi told her family she was lured to the roof of her rural school in the town of Feni on April 6 and asked to withdraw the charges by five people clad in burqas. When she refused, she said her hands were tied and she was doused in kerosene and set alight.
Rafi told the story to her brother in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and he recorded her testimony on his mobile phone. She died four days later in a Dhaka hospital with burns covering 80% of her body.
The violence has shaken Bangladesh, triggering protests and raising concerns over the plight of women and girls in the conservative Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people where sexual harassment and violence are often unreported, victims are intimidated and the legal process is often lengthy. Many avoid reporting to police because of social stigma.
In this photo taken on April 12, 2019 Bangladeshi women hold banners and photographs of schoolgirl Nusrat Jahan Rafi at a protest in Dhaka, following her murder by being set on fire after she had reported a sexual assault. (SAZZAD HOSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
“We want justice. Our girls must grow up safely and with dignity,” Alisha Pradhan, a model and actress, told The Associated Press during Friday’s demonstration. “We protest any forms of violence against women, and authorities must ensure justice.”
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Tens of thousands of people attended Rafi’s funeral prayers in Feni, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina promised Rafi’s family when they met in Dhaka that those responsible would be punished.
At least 17 people, including students, have been arrested in connection with the case, said Banaj Kumar Majumder, the head of the Police Bureau of Investigation.
In late March, Rafi filed a complaint with police that the principal of her madrasa, or Islamic school, had called her into his office and touched her inappropriately and repeatedly. Her family agreed to help her to file the police complaint, which prompted police to arrest the principal, infuriating him and his supporters. Influential local politicians backed the principal, and ruling party members were also among the arrested.
Police said the arrested suspects told them during interrogations that the attack on Rafi was planned and ordered by the school’s principal from prison when his men went to see him. It was timed for daytime so that it would look like a suicide attempt, Majumder said.
Human Rights Watch said in a statement that Rafi’s family said that they had received death threats before the attack telling them to drop the case.
While Rafi’s case is now being treated with urgency, that wasn’t the case until her death.
A video taken on March 27 while Rafi reported the assault shows the local police chief registering her complaint but telling her that the incident was “not a big deal.” The chief was later removed from the police station for negligence in dealing with the case.
For Bangladeshi women, it is often not easy to file sensitive complaints with police. Victims often fear further harassment and bullying. Police also often show an unwillingness to investigate such cases and are often accused of being influenced by local politics or bribes.
But the call for dealing with violence against women, especially related to sexual harassment and assault, is also getting louder.
“The horrifying murder of a brave woman who sought justice shows how badly the Bangladesh government has failed victims of sexual assault,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s death highlights the need for the Bangladesh government to take survivors of sexual assault seriously and ensure that they can safely seek a legal remedy and be protected from retaliation.”
Explosions Rock Sri Lanka: At Least 130 Dead, More Than 500 Wounded

Shameful and cowardly.
Curious Cdn
Quote: Originally Posted by Walter View Post

Explosions Rock Sri Lanka: At Least 130 Dead, More Than 500 Wounded
Shameful and cowardly.

Christan churches and tourists appear to have been targeted. No Muslims in Sri Lanka ... Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamals.
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Christan churches and tourists appear to have been targeted. No Muslims in Sri Lanka ... Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamals.

There goes Wally's woody... droop.

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