NEWS

Othman Ayed Hamdan, arrested on terror charges, virtually unknown in Fort St. John mayor says

07/12/2015 12:52 EDT | Updated 07/12/2016 05:59 EDT
The mayor of a northern British Columbia community says a man who has been charged with terrorism-related offences has very few, if any, links to the local community.

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman says she hasn't spoken with anyone who knows Othman Ayed Hamdan, a local resident.

RCMP announced on Friday that they charged the 33-year-old man with three terrorism related counts.

An RCMP news release alleges Hamdan was involved in distributing propaganda connected with the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The RCMP allege the propaganda posted online included inducement and instructions to commit murder in the name of Jihad.

A spokesman for Fort St. John's local Muslim association, Azhar Phoolwala says his community had never met or even heard of Hamdan before police announced the charges.

Phoolwala says Hamdan had not been to the local mosque or to any prayer meetings or events held by the religious group.

Documents obtained by CBC show a 33-year-old man with the same name in Fort St. John owns a residential building contracting company called Noex Contracting.  

Hamdan is currently being held in custody and could appear in court as early as Monday.

He faces six charges under the Criminal Code including three terrorism-related offences:

- counseling to commit murder for the benefit of a terrorist group. 

- counseling to assault causing bodily harm for the benefit of a terrorist group.

- counseling to commit aggravated assault for the benefit of a terrorist group.

The B.C. Muslim Association says it will be meeting with the RCMP and mayor on Monday to discuss this type of extremism.

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