Youth convicted for plot to storm Canadian parliamentSeptember 26th, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, Sep 26 (IANS) Canada handed down its first terror conviction since 9/11 Thursday when a court in Brampton near here found a youth guilty of plotting to kill Canadian leaders and destroy economic targets.The 20-year-old youth, who converted to Islam from Hinduism three years ago and cannot be named, belonged to the so-called Toronto-18 terror group that was unearthed in June 2006.
The 18 plotters - Muslim youths from Mississauga and Scarborough on the outskirts of Toronto - had allegedly planned to blow up the commercial hub of Toronto, and storm the nation’s parliament in Ottawa to take leaders hostage and behead the prime minister.
To carry out the plot, they had allegedly bought fertiliser to make truck bombs and undergone training in use of firearms at a rural camp in northern Ontario in December 2005.
During the alleged training camp, the plotters were caught on a video being brainwashed with a jihadist speech by their ringleader.
A police mole, Mubin Shaikh, who was paid $300,000, helped police unravel the plot.
Of the 18 arrested, 10 are in jail and four on bail. The trial of three has been stayed.
The trial of the 18th person ended Thursday with conviction.
The quantum of sentence will be decided later.
Delivering his 94-page verdict in a courtroom filled with supporters and parents of the youth, Judge John Sproat said: “I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that a terror group existed.”
“The youth clearly understood that the camps were training for a terrorist purpose. He also understood that contributing materials to be used at the camp enhanced the ability of the group to conduct the training,” he said.
Referring to the jihadist speech of the terror ringleader, the judge said after listening to it he was left with no doubt about the purpose of the camp.
In the jihadist speech, the ringleader exhorts the plotters, “whether we get arrested, killed or tortured, our mission is greater than just individuals. This has to be done, Rome has to be defeated.”
The prosecution presented 80 recordings of the alleged terror training camp during the trial.
The trial of the other 10 accused plotters is likely to take place next year.
This is the first conviction under the Canadian criminal code which was tightened after 9/11.