Canadian Muslim gets life term for terror plot

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS

Toronto : A Canadian Muslim has been given life term for plotting attacks on American and Israeli embassies in Singapore.

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Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, who was handed down this verdict by a New York court Friday, is the first Canadian to be sentenced on terror charges. The 26-year-old, who grew up in the town of St Catherines near here, was assigned the bombing task by the alleged 9/11 terror attack mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The young Canadian was recruited by the Al Qaeda when he, along with his brother, went to Pakistan and Afghanistan to study Islam in 2001.

He admitted he was brainwashed into the jihadi ideology and given the task of blowing up the US and Israeli missions in Singapore.

Given the code name of Sammy, he was sent to Singapore to plan the bombings. But when the plot was uncovered, he fled to Oman.

The Omani police nabbed Jabarah in March 2002 and handed him over to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the nation’s spy agency.

Later, he was handed over to the US to face a trial on terror charges. Jabarah pleaded guilty to plotting destruction of American lives and property.

The decision by the Canadian spy agency to hand over a Canadian national to the US authorities had come in for sharp criticism by the nation’s Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC).

Apart from Jabarah, 17 more youths and men wait trial for their involvement in the first alleged terror plot in Canada.

Currently behind bars at Maplehurst Correctional Complex here, these Muslim men were arrested from Mississauga in June 2006 for allegedly plotting to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Canadian spy agency offices in Toronto, and parliament and behead the prime minister.

The authorities had allegedly seized three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, switches, mobile detonators, computer hard drive, camouflage gear, and other weapons from them.

Canada is one of the five “Christian” countries reportedly on the hit list of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

While the four – the US, Britain, Australia and Spain – have been targeted directly or indirectly by the terror outfit, Canada is the only one to have survived any attempt yet.