CALGARY — RCMP in Alberta have laid terrorism charges against a Calgary man they believe has gone overseas to fight with the Islamic State.
Police say 22-year-old Farah Mohamed Shirdon has been charged with several offences, including participation in the activity of a terrorist group and instructing others to carry out terrorist activity.
Mounties say the charges are being laid in absentia as it is believed Shirdon is currently overseas.
A Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued and a notice is to be issued shortly via Interpol.
The RCMP are working actively with both domestic and international partners to bring Shirdon back to Canada.
Their investigation determined Shirdon left Canada for Syria in March 2014 to allegedly join and fight with the Islamic State. RCMP later found that reports that Shirdon had been killed in Syria were untrue.
Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada said he was worried the reported death would inspire other radicalized youth to go overseas.
"Our investigation showed that Shirdon served in a combat role and performed other functions for ISIS such as recruiting, fundraising, encouraging others to commit violence, and spreading propaganda – all designed to enhance the activities of the ISIS”, said Alberta RCMP Asst. Comm. Marlin DeGrand in a news release.
The charges were laid by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in Alberta as part of a national security criminal investigation.
Last year, the CBC aired a propaganda video of Shirdon burning his Canadian passport and threatening U.S. President Barack Obama.
The development serves as a "powerful deterrent message to individuals seeking to travel abroad for terrorist purposes and those already engaged in such activity," added RCMP Asst. Comm. James Malizia.
With files from Sarah Rieger/The Huffington Post Canada
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