NEWS
05/29/2014 09:57 EDT | Updated 07/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Verdict expected in terrorism-related trial of Toronto man

A verdict in the trial of a Toronto man charged with two counts of terrorism-related charges is expected in the coming days.

Mohamed Hersi was arrested at Pearson International Airport in March of 2011 as he tried to board a plane to Cairo, Egypt, with a one-way ticket.

The Somali-Canadian is the first person to stand in trial in this country for attempting to join a foreign group classified as a terrorist organization by the federal government, al-Shabaab.

Hersi was officially charged with attempting to participate in terrorist activity and providing counsel to a person to participate in a terrorist activity.

Hersi has denied the allegations, saying he was going overseas to study Arabic for several months.

The 28-year-old landed on police radar after he left a USB key with extremist materials uploaded onto it at work, and a co-worker who found the memory device reported its content to authorities.

Over the next several months, Hersi was befriended by an undercover counterterrorism agent, who has testified at length during the trial.

Over the course of Hersi’s trial at a Brampton courthouse, the court heard that he was a friend of Mohamed Elmi Ibrahim, a former University of Toronto student who joined al-Shabaab and was killed in 2011. Ibrahim’s so-called ‘matyrdom video’ was posted online by the group shortly after his death.

The trial could set a landmark precedent for terrorism-related cases in Canada if Hersi is found guilty.

The CBC’s John Lancaster has more in the video report above. 

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