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Cablegate: Toronto Man Found Guilty On Terror Charges

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FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2605
INFO RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 2029
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0014
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0062
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC
RUEPINS/HQ BICE INTEL WASHINGTON DC
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RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USNORTHCOM
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UNCLAS TORONTO 000286
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(C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - AMEMBASSY OTTAWA ADDED/ALCAN
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINR PTER CA
SUBJECT: TORONTO MAN FOUND GUILTY ON TERROR CHARGES

Ref: (A) 07 Toronto 139 (B) Toronto 85

Sensitive But Unclassified - protect accordingly.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On September 25, an Ontario Superior Court
justice found a Toronto-area man guilty of terrorism charges in
Canada's first conviction under its Anti-Terrorism Act. The man was
part of a group that planned a series of bombings and a raid on
Parliament Hill. Ten other men, allegedly also members of the
"Toronto 18" terror cell, await trial. END SUMMARY.
2. (U) In June 2006, police arrested 18 suspects in the Greater
Toronto Area on terrorism-related charges (ref A). The "Toronto 18"
suspects allegedly were planning to bomb Toronto offices of the
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation, the Toronto Stock Exchange, a Canadian
Forces base, and the CSIS and RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. They
also allegedly planned to storm Parliament Hill in Ottawa and take
Members of Parliament hostage; if the Canadian government did not
withdraw its armed forces from Afghanistan, they reportedly planned
to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper (ref A). The trial of the
first suspect began on March 25 (ref B). Charges against seven of
the 18 defendants have effectively dropped, and 10 men await trial.

3. (U) This is the first conviction under Canada's Anti-Terrorism
Act. The convicted man, now 20, was 17 at the time of his crimes,
and the Youth Criminal Justice Act prohibits Canadian authorities
from releasing his name. Born in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada in
1994 and converted to Islam in high school. (Note: We cannot
verify whether he obtained his Canadian citizenship or if he is
still a Sri Lankan national. End note). The court found that the
man attended a training camp with other members of the group, where
he took part in firearms training and quasi-military exercises. He
also shoplifted walkie-talkies and removed a surveillance camera
hidden in one group member's apartment building; by doing so,
prosecutors successfully argued, the man was "providing a skill or
expertise" under Canadian anti-terror law. The man now faces up to
10 years in prison.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: The conviction of this suspect is an important
victory for Canadian law enforcement and prosecutors. The convicted
man reportedly was a minor player in the Toronto 18 group. His
conviction shows the wide scope of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, and
makes the conviction of the 10 remaining defendants more likely.
END COMMENT.

NAY

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