NEWS

Spy accused of helping teens join ISIS claims he worked for Canadian intelligence

03/13/2015 09:52 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 05:59 EDT
An accused spy detained in Turkey for allegedly helping three British girls join ISIS claims he worked for a Canadian intelligence agency, according to a Turkish intelligence report obtained by CBC News. 

Mohammad Al Rashed, a Syrian who purportedly went by the alias Dr. Mehmet Reşit, allegedly helped the girls cross from Turkey into Syria shortly after they flew from London to Istanbul on Feb. 17. 

According to the intelligence report, Rashed accompanied the three teens —  two aged 15 and one 16 — on a bus to Gaziantep, a town near the Turkey-Syria border often used as a staging point by those looking to join ISIS. Rashed allegedly left the girls with "individuals involved in human trafficking" with the understanding they would be taken to Syria.  

In a witness statement included in the report, Rashed claims he worked for Canadian intelligence and travelled occasionally to the Canadian Embassy in Jordan to share information he had gathered. 

He claims he relayed information about his trip with the three British teens to Canadian intelligence on Feb. 21, and told Turkish authorities his ultimate goal was to obtain Canadian citizenship. 

Rashed was detained on Feb. 28. According to the intelligence report, plane and bus tickets in the girls' names were found in his possession, as well as video of the girls meeting the human traffickers and setting off for the Syrian border. Similarly, photos of passports and images of passport stamps for at least 20 other people were found in his possession. 

The report also says Turkish authorities have screen shots of text messages Rashed sent to Canadian intelligence officials. 

Rashed purportedly entered Turkey 33 times using his Syrian passport, according the report, and received multiple money wire transfers from people in England "with Arab names." According to the report, there is no evidence that Canadian intelligence officials sent Rashed money at any point. 

Yesterday, CBC News learned that Rashed is not an employee of CSIS. 

Earlier today, the Turkish foreign minister said Rashed is a Syrian national working for a country in the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, but did not elaborate further. 

"The person who helped the three British girls into Syria is a Syrian national working for another country within the coalition. The situation is so complicated," Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

Rashed appeared in a Turkish court on March 4 and remains in custody.

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