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Cablegate: Canada: Second Life Sentence for Another Terrorist

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TAGS: PTER PREL PHUM MO CA
SUBJECT: CANADA: SECOND LIFE SENTENCE FOR ANOTHER TERRORIST

REF: TORONTO 62; TORONTO 54; TORONTO 38

1. (U) A Quebec court in Montreal on February 17 laid down a life
sentence for Moroccan-born Said Namouh on a charge of conspiracy to
detonate an explosive device, on which he had been convicted in
October 2009. The court at the same time gave him concurrent
sentences of four, eight, and eight years for other convictions in
the same case --participating in a terrorist act, facilitating an
act of terrorism, and committing extortion for a terrorist group
(the Global Islamic Media Front). The judge described Namouh as
"very dangerous" and "remorseless," and contrasted him specifically
with some other convicted terrorists in the Toronto 18 case who
received notably lighter sentences (refs a and b). However, one
of the Toronto 18 - ringleader Zakaria Amara - had received
the first life sentence under Canada's anti-terrorism legislation
on January 18 in Toronto (ref c).

2. (U) Namouh moved to Canada in 2003 and is a landed immigrant
married to a Quebec woman. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
arrested him in rural Quebec in September 2007. He had prepared a
ransom video for the Army of Islam after it kidnapped BBC reporter
Alan Johnston in Gaza in March 2007. Canadian officials discovered
evidence on his computer of plans to set off explosions in Germany
or Austria. Citing Namouh's address to the court at his
sentencing hearing in November 2009, the judge concluded that "in
no way since the events has he distanced himself from terrorism,"
and he accused Namouh of "manipulating the court."

3. (U) Namouh will become eligible for parole in 2017, ten years
after his initial arrest under Canadian regulations. The
government has reportedly begun deportation hearings. The
prosecutor in the case commented that this life sentence
demonstrates to would-be terrorists that "you cannot come into
Canada to carry out a plot here or elsewhere. We are not a safe
haven."

4. (U) Comment: this second life sentence for a convicted
terrorist in Canada is welcome news in Canada's counter-terrorism
efforts, and belies the reputation for leniency that Canadian
courts have sometimes earned.
JACOBSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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