He can’t possess any weapons or ammunition, and must remain in Ontario and not apply for a passport. The reasons for granting bail remain under a publication ban as is all evidence presented during a two-day special bail hearing held earlier this month. “It was a well-reasoned and thought out decision and we are obviously very pleased,” Hersi’s lawyer, Anser Farooq, said outside the courtroom. “I hope the Crown re-evaluates its case and decides whether this is a prosecution worth pursuing…” Federal Crown attorney Iona Jaffe said she accepts the court’s decision.
Hersi was arrested at Toronto’s Pearson Airport last month as he was about to board a jet to Cairo via London. He had a one-way ticket, police said. Police allege Hersi planned to join the Somali militant group Al Shabaab, which is trying to overthrow Somalia’s government. Al Shabaab has been designated as a terrorist group in the U.S. and Canada. His lawyer previously told reporters that his client never wanted to join the group. He claimed he was set up by a man who tried to befriend him.
Police suspect several young Canadians have gone to Somalia to join the group in recent years. Hersi is a Canadian citizen. He was traveling alone when arrested, police said. He was charged under Canada’s anti-terrorism law with attempting to participate in terrorist activity and with providing counsel to a person to participate in a terrorist activity.
Hersi’s arrest came following a six-month investigation dubbed “Project Severe.” Relatives earlier told the Star that Hersi planned to study Arabic for several months in Egypt. Hersi was born in Somalia but moved to Canada as a child. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a science degree in 2009 but had been working as a security guard, relatives said.
Hersi’s arrest sparked fears within the local Somali community that Al Shabaab, known as an Islamic youth militia, is still recruiting young men. In 2009, six Somali-Canadian men disappeared from the Toronto area and are believed to have joined the group. One died in battle about a year ago.
Because Al Shabaab is a listed terrorist group within the authority of law in Canada, any participation in that group constitutes an offence under Canadian law. Hersi’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 26
Source: The Star
The Rest @ Somali Swiss TV alleged to be from the Toronto Star
Canadian Al-Shabaab Militant Killed in Mogadishu
by IPT News • Jun 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm
UPDATE: The FBI's Minneapolis Office has confirmed the identity of one of two suicide bombers involved in the attack on a Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) military checkpoint in Mogadishu on May 30th as Farah Mohamed Beledi.
Somali forces killed a Canadian al-Shabaab fighter Wednesday in a gun fight that ensued after he and other man refused to obey orders to stop at a military checkpoint in the capital of Mogadishu.
A source from the Somali-Canadian community told the National Post that a cell phone found on the body contained text messages and call logs reflecting contact with family in Toronto. A Somali army official said that a Canadian passport on the body identified the man as Muhan Jeans.
Jeans, reported a Somali radio station, is known as "Abdurrahman the Canadian" and is said to be an al-Shabaab commander in charge of the Juba region, near the Kenyan border.
Canadian security authorities are currently investigating the disappearance of 20 Canadians thought to have traveled to Somalia to join the al-Qaida linked militant Islamist group. In March, Canadian police arrested 25-year-old Mohamed Hersi at a Toronto airport before he left for Somalia and charged him with plotting to join al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab is well-known for its ability to recruit Western youth to fight the Somali transitional government for its ultimate goal of installing a pan-Islamic state in Somalia.
Like Canada, the U.S. has also opened investigations into the disappearance of Somali youth-primarily out of Minnesota. One Minnesota man, indicted in absentia by the U.S. last year, was reported to have died while trying to execute an al-Shabaab suicide bomb attack in Mogadishu last week.
Family members identified 27-year-old Farah Beledi in a photo from the scene of the attack which killed three, including one government solider. The Star Tribune reports that Beledi is believed to have left Minnesota shortly before he was indicted with seven others on terrorism-related charges. Abdullahi Ahmed, also from Minnesota, was initially identified as the perpetrator of the attack.
The FBI has not yet confirmed the identity of the bomber. It is unclear whether the initial reports were incorrect or if both men were killed in the attack. A Minnesota Public Radio report noted that while Beledi died before he successfully activated his bombs, African Union officials say another man successfully detonated his.
Group may be trying to extend reach, head of Canadian Somali Congress says
Ottawa, Canada, August 6, 2011 – Terrorist recruiters are targeting young Canadian Somali women to take up arms, the head of the Canadian Somali Congress told U.S. politicians Wednesday
- In testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Ahmed Hussen suggested the reason may be increased police and security service attention over the recruitment of "dozens" of young Canadian Somali men from Ottawa and Toronto in recent years.
- "Lately, the recruiters have turned their attention to the facilitation of young Canadian Somali women into joining al-Shabaab," the radical Somali youth militia now fully integrated with al-Qaeda, Hussen said in a prepared statement
- Much of the youth recruiting is believed to be through the Internet and an online mix of religious tracts, rap music, videos and recruiting pitches delivered in English. Visiting extremist clerics are another propaganda source.
- "There is no shortage of foot soldiers and young men that al-Shabaab can recruit in Somalia, so why would they spend all this money, effort and at great risk to recruit westerners, people who hold Canadian, U.S. and British passports?" he said during questioning by committee members.
- "It's because we think they have aspirations beyond East Africa. They've proven that by attacking Uganda" last July with two suicide bombers, killing 79 people gathered to watch the FIFA World Cup Final on television.
- King revealed that three Canadians, whom he did not identify, and at least 15 Amer-icans have been killed in fighting.
- Previously, only one Canadian death was suspected, that of Mohamed Elmi Ibrahim, a University of Toronto student whom al-Shabaab said was killed "in battle" last year. He was the first of six Somali-Canadian men who reportedly disappeared from the Toronto area in 2009.
Fourteen people, including several U.S. citizens, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis in last August on terrorism charges for travelling to Somalia and joining al-Shabaab, which Canada and the U.S. have banned as an outlawed terrorist group.
- He has said previously that in addition to the "Somali Six" from the Toronto area, he has been told two young Ottawa men, as well as two young women, also left for the Horn of Africa nation.
- Almost 85 per cent of Canadian Somalis are under 30, with unemployment in Ottawa and Toronto hovering around 40 per cent in this group.
- Many young men have dropped out of school.
- Those who do persevere often can't find jobs in their professions, he said.
Hussen often appears in the media, whether to talk about the Somali pirate issue, violence claiming the lives of Somali youth living in Alberta or, more recently, pressing the Canadian government to increase its immigration quota from Somalia in light of the worsening famine there.
The Rest @ The Somliland Times