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Aaron Driver, Winnipeg ISIS supporter, released on bail for 2nd time

06/29/2015 10:51 EDT | Updated 06/29/2016 05:59 EDT
Winnipeg ISIS supporter Aaron Driver will be fitted with a GPS tracking device later today and will again be released on bail. 

His lawyer, Len Tailleur, appeared in court, with Driver appearing briefly by video link from Headingley Correctional Centre.

When the video feed cut out, the 23-year-old spoke to his lawyer by phone.

Driver was granted bail after agreeing to abide by 19 conditions, which include wearing a GPS device at all times. 

He is also not permitted to communicate on social media, use a computer or smartphone, own anything marked with IS or ISIS, or have any contact with Islamic State members. 

He must also stay in Winnipeg and report to police weekly.

Police are to go to Headingley this afternoon to fit Driver with the tracking device, said federal Crown attorney Ian Mahon. 

Driver's lawyer said Driver will be driven to a place to stay but did not get into specifics.

'We're going to challenge the entire process'

Tailleur filed notice that he will fight the conditions of the peace bond on constitutional grounds. 

He said the conditions imposed on Driver after his first release, which are similar to the current conditions, are reserved for criminals and Driver has not committed a crime. 

"The kid was working hard. This thing caused him to lose his job. It caused him now to be disenfranchised from the community so we're going to challenge the entire process because of that," he said.

Tailleur said he has no problem with a peace bond, but says his client shouldn't have to wear a GPS locator for a year.

"[A] GPS device is usually used for known criminals, individuals who have long criminal records, individuals that have been part of the criminal justice system.... He has no criminal record. Mr. Driver doesn't deserve a GPS device for a year," he said. 

Driver is scheduled to be back in court next Tuesday. 

Tailleur described his client as being one of the best clients he's ever had.

Driver rearrested after support withdrawn

Driver was rearrested Friday after one of his bail conditions was breached — the person who posted a surety and agreed to give him a place to stay withdrew her support.

That person, Driver's landlady, did not want to be identified. She told CBC News she was tired of the relentless media attention on her house but also disappointed with remarks Driver made in an interview with CBC last week.

"Aaron should have apologized for his remarks in the interview with you and expressed his gratitude for living in a safe, peaceful and comfortable country, Canada, with many positive opportunities to raise a healthy family," she said. 

Driver told CBC News that the Canadian military deserved to be attacked last October on Parliament Hill.

On Oct. 22, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot dead Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Monument in Ottawa, then charged into Parliament Hill in Ottawa before he was gunned down.

Driver said the Canadian government brought that on through its military role in the Middle East.

Watched by CSIS

Driver caught the attention of CSIS, Canada's spy agency, in October 2014 when he was tweeting support for the militant group ISIS under the alias Harun Abdurahman.

That activity landed him on a watch list.

He was arrested by RCMP on June 4 and investigators searched his Charleswood-area home, removing his custom-made computer, phone, flash drives and Qur'an.

Although he has not been charged with anything, investigators have invoked a section of Canada's Criminal Code and are seeking a peace bond to limit Driver's activities.

After eight days in custody, he was released on bail under 25 strict conditions, including surrendering his passport and obeying a curfew of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

He is also prohibited from using a computer or smartphone or logging into social media accounts, and is required to undergo "religious counselling."

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