NEWS

Terror-related charges laid against Edmonton-area teen

03/20/2015 01:48 EDT | Updated 05/20/2015 05:59 EDT
A teenage boy from the Edmonton area has been charged with trying to leave Canada to commit an act of terror, CBC News has learned.

The 17-year-old was arrested Thursday in Beaumont, south of the city, by the RCMP's integrated national security enforcement team.

The teen was charged with trying to leave the country to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a terrorist organization that controls a vast tract of territory in Syria and northern Iraq and has become infamous for its cruelty.

The suspect, who can't be identified because he is under the age of 18, faces two charges: That he attempted to leave Canada to commit an act of terror, and that he attempted to leave the country to join a terrorist group.

He appeared before a judge yesterday and was denied bail. He is scheduled to return to court on April 9.
The charges he is facing under the Criminal Code of Canada include:

- 83.202 – Everyone who leaves or attempts to leave Canada, or goes or attempts to go on board a conveyance with the intent to leave Canada, for the purpose of committing an act or omission outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence under this or any other act of Parliament if the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years.

- 83.181 – Everyone who leaves or attempts to leave Canada, or goes or attempts to go on board a conveyance with the intent to leave Canada, for the purpose of committing an act or omission outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an offence under subsection 83.18(1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

"Throughout this investigation, our focus remained on the safety and protection of the public," the RCMP said in a statement Friday.

"While it may be difficult for parents to come forward to the police, it is important for families and communities to contact police as soon as they suspect that an individual is being radicalized."

This latest case comes on the heels of several others in the Edmonton area in recent months.

Three Edmonton cousins were killed last year while fighting overseas for ISIS, the father of one of the men told CBC News in January.

Ahmed Hirsi, said his 20-year-old son, Mahad, died last fall along with cousins Hamsa and Hersi Kariye. Another cousin from Minnesota, HanadAbdullahiMohallim, was also killed, Hirsi said.

His son and two nephews left Edmonton without telling him in October 2013. He heard from Mahad for the last time when he called from Egypt to say he intended to leave for Syria.

It's not clear how the four died, or if they died at the same time.

Woman recruited

In another case, a young Edmonton woman made her way to Syria last summer, according to her family.

The family alleges the woman was recruited under the guise of an online class to study the Qur'an taught by a woman in Edmonton. But instead she learned how to get to the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa in Syria. When the woman called home from abroad, she told her family she was never coming home — that Syria was where she was going to die.

CBC News has confirmed the identity of the alleged recruiter in Edmonton, but she has not been charged in connection with the case.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service declined to comment on that specific case, but said at the time in an emailed statement that terrorism "including radicalization of Canadians and terrorist travel remains the most prominent threat to Canadian interests and our national security."

Earlier this month, CBC News reported on the case of another Edmonton man in his mid-twenties who is thought to have joined ISIS.

Omar Aden was living in Edmonton before he left in the summer of 2013 to study Islam in Egypt, members of the Somali community who have contact with his family told CBC News.

Several months later, they say Aden called his family from Syria.

The family believes he worked in Fort McMurray, where he met extremists and became radicalized, community members said.

National security teams

Integrated national security enforcement teams or INSETs are made up of members of the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Canada Border Services Agency, and provincial and local police.

There are INSET teams in Edmonton/Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

The teams investigate and gather intelligence about groups or individuals suspected of posing threats to national security.

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