Canadian Muslim gets life term for plotting attacks on Europe
An Al-Qaeda-linked Canadian Muslim was on Wednesday sentenced to life for plotting attacks on European targets and spreading jihadist propaganda on the internet.world Updated: Feb 18, 2010 10:46 IST
An Al-Qaeda-linked Canadian Muslim was on Wednesday sentenced to life for plotting attacks on European targets and spreading jihadist propaganda on the internet.
Said Namouh, 37, who immigrated to Canada from Morocco in 2003, was arrested in 2007 in a small town near Montreal. Evidence at his trial showed that the man served as a point man for the online Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) - an Al-Qaeda-linked group - in promoting jihadist propaganda and recruiting jihadists.
Operating under the name of 'Ashraf' from his home, the terrorist spent hundreds of hours on online chats promoting jihadist propaganda, praising attacks on western soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and preparing propaganda videos.
Police recovered more than 1,000 hours of online chats by the Moroccan man on jihadist websites.
He had also planned terrorist attacks on installations and leaders in Germany and Austria, including the 2008 Euro soccer tournament (jointly held by Austria and Germany) and the OPEC headquarters in Vienna.
The prosecution said the terrorist twice visited the targets and was about to leave Canada when he was arrested in September 2007.
The Moroccan man, who has yet to acquire Canadian citizenship, maintained that he is innocent.
Sentencing him to life, Judge Claude Leblond said he posed a threat to Canada and remained repentant for his actions.
"The zeal he showed in his participation in the activities of the GIMF and more particularly, the incitation to violent jihad also show he is a danger. We don't know when, if ever, he'll cease to be dangerous,'' the judge said in his verdict.
"In no way since the events has he distanced himself from terrorism," the verdict added.
Since he is not acquired Canadian citizenship yet, the Moroccan man faces deportation to his native country once he is eligible for parole after 10 years.
He is the second Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist to be jailed for life in Canada within a month.
Last month, Zakaria Amara, the leader of the Toronto-18 terror plot, was given life sentence by a Toronto court. The plot, which could have been Canada's 9/11, was unearthed in June 2006 with the arrest of 18 Muslim men from the Toronto area.
They had planned to storm and blow up the nation's parliament, take leaders hostage and behead the prime minister. They had also planned to drive explosive-laden trucks into the offices of the Canadian spy agency, the Toronto Stock Exchange and a military base in Toronto.