Canada

Kevin Omar Mohamed – was arrested in Waterloo had travelled to Syria in 2014

Kevin-Omar-Mohamed

BRAMPTON — The day before Kevin Omar Mohamed was arrested by anti-terrorism police, a post on his Twitter account showed an image of travellers being gunned down and asked where one could find the “Brussels airport” version of the video game Call of Duty.

It was one of the last of thousands of social media posts linked to the former engineering student — some of them concerning Syria and jihad — before he was arrested in Waterloo on Friday following a two-year RCMP national security investigation called Project Swap.

The 23-year-old has been charged with two weapons offences over a large hunting knife he was carrying in a bag when he was arrested. At a court hearing Saturday, an RCMP officer said police were investigating five alleged terrorism offences, but no such charges had yet been laid.

Mohamed allegedly returned from a trip to Syria in the spring of 2014, according to those familiar with the case, although it is unclear what he was doing there. While he has not been charged with terrorism, police are seeking a preventive peace bond to restrict his behaviour.

 Sgt. Adam MacIntosh told a provincial court judge in Brampton the peace bond was needed because police had reasonable grounds to believe Mohamed would leave Canada to participate in terrorism, advocate or promote terrorism and facilitate terrorist activity.Little else was disclosed about the case but his prolific social media profile suggested a young man preoccupied with the Syrian conflict. His posts are almost entirely anti-ISIL but he does seem to closely follow Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaida faction in Syria — although he wrote in a disclaimer that he did not support any group.

“He was definitely supportive of Shaikh Muhaysini and Jabhat al-Nusra. Very supportive. He was translating Muhaysini’s Arabic tweets for his English audience and was deeply involved in theological debates,” said Prof. Amarnath Amarasingam, who has been researching Canadian foreign fighters.

“Muhaysini is classic al-Qaida and did call for more fighters to come to Syria recently — after the Russians got involved,” he said, adding Mohamed, who was known on social media as Abu Jayyid, was “Guyanese by background” and described by friends as socially awkward and always feeling out of place.

In recent months, Mohamed had posted repeatedly about jihad, writing that “the sincere mujahid (holy warrior) doesn’t care whether he is given victory or is martyred, for he came out for one of the two good things, victory or shahada (martyrdom) and he entrusted that to his lord and is pleased with what Allah chooses for him.”

Elsewhere, he wrote that those who fought for Allah were “the highest,” complained about the “terroristic organization USA,” and asked why jihadi songs were considered unacceptable “if songs glorifying rape/drug dealing/killing people/joining gangs is acceptable online.”

We must remain committed to preventing individuals from travelling abroad to gain training and expertise that could be used in the planning and implementation of future attacks on Canadian soil

Last June, Mohamed posted on Twitter about Aaron Driver, aka Harun Abdurahman, an ISIL supporter arrested in Winnipeg under a peace bond alleging he “may” engage in terrorism. The law permitting such arrests was part of the C-51 reforms enacted by the Conservatives.

“Harun Abdurahman is why people in Canada should oppose Bill C51. How can you do this to people based on a hunch they might engage in terrorism,” the post read. But Mohamed now faces the same legal process, under which he can either agree to restrictions on his conduct or challenge them at a hearing.

Mohamed’s lawyer Anser Farooq said Sunday he had not yet decided whether to consent to the peace bond or fight it. He said he was concerned that if Mohamed were to accept the constraints, which can include surrendering passports and staying off the Internet, it would only encourage the government to use the controversial tactic. The case was scheduled to return to court on Tuesday.

“While there was no indication of any plans for a domestic attack, we must remain committed to preventing individuals from travelling abroad to gain training and expertise that could be used in the planning and implementation of future attacks on Canadian soil,” RCMP Superintendent Lise Crouch, the assistant criminal operations officer in Ontario, said in a statement, adding the case was “in no way linked to the terrorist attacks that occurred in Brussels.”

(Source)

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