The leader of the notorious Toronto 18 terrorist group — who planned numerous terror attacks — won’t be getting parole.
He told a psychiatrist that he plans to join ISIS when he gets out of jail.
But parole or not, Fahim Ahmad is still scheduled to get out of prison in January 2018. The previous Conservative government stripped Ahmad of his Canadian citizenship, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have advanced legislation that is now before the Senate that would restore his citizenship.
On Tuesday the Parole Board of Canada deemed Ahmad a risk and denied his parole after it reported that Ahmad had told a psychologist that he wants to fight with ISIS. The ruling stated “that you are still very involved in the same mindset as you were when this began, noting simply that have just changed sides.”
Ahmad apparently attempted to “minimize” the impact of his admission while claiming that he only meant to say that he will seek to expose ISIS and other jihadists as organizations that “misstate Islam for political reasons”; but the parole board was highly suspicious of the deflection.
“When the board put to you that a reasonable person reading the use of the word ‘fight’ by a convicted terrorist in the context of Islamic terrorism, and in the context of an explanation of his view of his own change on the point of terrorism, would presume the meaning of armed struggle, you had no real response,” it said.
Ahmad has changed his tune on blaming his legal troubles on a clandestine Royal Canadian Mounted Police informant who infiltrated his terrorist cell. He claims it was the informant’s decision to plan attacks against Canadian Armed Forces bases.
Moreover, Ahmad couldn’t seem to decide what the objective of the Toronto 18 actually was; he told both the parole board and the psychologist that the terrorist cell was first focused on training Islamic extremists to fight with ISIS and then that its primary objective was to utilize terrorism to force the Canadian government to move its troops out of Afghanistan.
“The minimization, equivocation and continued attempts to deceive and manipulate do not allow the board to conclude that there has been any, let alone sufficient, change in your risk in the last year,” the panel wrote.
Ahmad was arrested in 2006 after a major investigation involving police and security agencies. They planned to bomb a number of installations in southern Ontario and were actually training at a make-shift terrorist camp just north of Toronto.
Eventually Ahmad pled guilty to three counts of terrorism offenses; by that time he had been identified as the “driving force” of the terrorist group.