NEWS

Merouane Ghalmi signs terrorism-linked peace bond

03/27/2015 11:21 EDT | Updated 05/27/2015 05:59 EDT
A 22-year-old Montreal man RCMP believe poses a risk to public security has signed a peace bond, agreeing to wear an electronic tracking bracelet and other conditions.

Merouane Ghalmi is also prohibited from communicating on social media with anyone in Syria or any one with links to a terrorist group.

A summons was issued for Ghalmi in February after the RCMP, via the Crown, requested the peace bond, citing fears that he could commit a terrorism-related offence.

He has not been charged with any offence and it isn't known why the Mounties are concerned about him. The contents of a sworn affidavit have been sealed.

Peace bonds have only been used eight times since 2001 for terrorism suspects — six of them related to members of the 2006 Toronto 18 plot, and two others.

The Conservative government introduced the anti-terrorism Bill C-51 earlier this year, which would make it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond.

Existing law requires a fear that someone "will commit'' a terrorism offence before police can obtain a peace bond — a tool that can mean jail unless a suspect abides by strict conditions, for instance that they surrender their passport and regularly report to police.

A new, lower threshold would be reasonable grounds to fear a person "may commit'' a terrorism offence.

Ghalmi, who hasn't commented publicly since word of the peace bond request became public, was a competitive mixed martial arts fighter as recently as 2012.

The peace bond will remain in effect for one year.

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