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Terrorist gets 14-year jail in Canada

A Canadian Muslim youth was jailed for 14 years Thursday for his role in the country's first home-grown terrorist plot.

world Updated: Sep 04, 2009 12:18 IST

A Canadian Muslim youth was jailed for 14 years Thursday for his role in the country's first home-grown terrorist plot.

Justice Bruce Dorno of the city court in Brampton on the outskirts of Toronto sentenced 22-year-old Saad Khalid for his role in the so-called Toronto-18 terror plot to avenge Canada's participation in the Afghan mission.

The plot was unearthed in June 2006, with arrest of 18 Canadian Muslims allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda.

Most plotters were residents of Mississauga on the outskirts of Toronto. One of the fastest growing cities in Canada, Mississauga has the biggest concentration of Muslim immigrants in the country.

The 18 plotters had planned to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange and offices of the Canadian spy agency, and storm parliament in Ottawa to take leaders hostage and behead the prime minister.

To carry out the plot, they had undergone training in firearms at a rural camp in December 2005. A police mole blew the cover on the plot.

Of the 18 arrested, 10 are in jail and four on bail. One youth was jailed for 30 months last year. Khalid is the second terrorist to be jailed.

During the trial, the prosecution had presented a two-and-half minute video which showed the masked plotters walking through snow for training in the wooded, secluded area of Ontario. Waving black flags, they are shown shouting "Allahu Akbar" while undergoing armed training.

In sentencing Saudi-born Khalid, Justice Bruce Dorno said though he was not the brain behind the plot, he nevertheless was a major player as he bought electrical components for making bombs and recruited another person into the plot.

Since the terrorist has already served more than four years behind bars, under Canada's lenient laws he could be paroled in well over two years. The prosecution had demanded up to 20 years' jail term for him.

Khalid and his family immigrated to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 1995. Canada has one of the most lenient criminal laws in the world. Any move to tighten them draws howls of protests.