Saturday, December 10, 2016

Islamist Threat? Comfortable Refuge In Canada

"I have learned that he can fix just about anything."
"I find him completely reliable, highly motivated, a hard worker and very efficient."
Elizabeth Whitmore, professor emerita, Carleton University

"Despite all that he has faced, Mohamed has built a life for himself here and he has a family and many friends who care about him."
Simone Powell, Ottawa
Mohamed Harkat and his wife Sophie Lamarche Harkat Mohamed Harkat and his wife Sophie Lamarche Harkat take part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, May 15, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Letters of support from those who believe that Mohamed Harkat -- branded a terrorist with al-Qaeda affiliation by the federal government, a status upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, in an effort to convince a federal official acting as a minister's delegate who is to decide whether there is evidence that this Algerian-born man who has been a terror suspect in Canada for the past 14 years -- should be permitted to remain in Canada.

He currently works as a custodian at a church, living under court-ordered conditions since his bail release over a decade ago. Now, the minister's delegate must judge whether de-radicalization has taken place, leaving this man a candidate to remain in Canada, rather than be deported back to Algeria. A Canada Border Services Agency official's confidential report was handed to the minister's delegate with the argument that Harkat should be returned to Algeria, risk of "torture" aside.

Anne-Marie Charbonneau, manager of the CBSA's danger assessments section, stated that if this man is not removed he would be free to once again take up again his connection with the Islamist extremist network. "Mr. Harkat's presence constitutes a real threat to the security of Canada and Canadians, as well as the security of other nations and their citizens", she concluded.

In May of 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the government's revised security certificate regime and affirmed the decision by Judge Simon Noel finding Harkat to be an active member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Justice Noel, declaring Harkat a member of al-Qaeda, linked him to Islamic extremists, including Saudi-born Ibn Khattab, Canadian Ahmed Said Khadr, and Abu Zubaydah.

Judge Noel also found that Harkat had given assistance to two Islamic extremists who had travelled to Canada. As well, he was found to have operate a safe house for members of al-Qaeda while living in Pakistan. Wiretapped telephone conversations and informants had given evidence in the case against Harkat who has always insisted he has no connections with al-Qaeda, and stands to be tortured should he be deported to Algeria.

He has been earmarked for deportation for over a decade. The minister's delegate now will weigh the personal risk Harkat may face in Algeria, as opposed to the risk he poses to Canadians. The decision on deportation, expected in the coming year can be appealed to the Federal Court of Canada, and perhaps once again end up in the Supreme Court.

The entire situation represents a mockery of a free and democratic nation's ability to protect itself from the presence of Islamist threats; hampered by that free and democratic society's own absurd system of justice favouring the human rights of threats to society, over the society's human right to protection from those threats.

Justin and Alexandre Trudeau in 2010 Ottawa Citizen files -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brother has written to a federal cabinet minister on behalf of Ottawa’s Mohamed Harkat, asking the Liberal government to continue its “sunny ways” by allowing the Algerian-born terror suspect to stay in Canada.

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