The Trudeau government is offering little information about the status of a former ISIS fighter living and working in Canada who told the New York Times that he executed someone.
As CBC News reports, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale would only say Friday that the Liberal government was doing everything to “keep Canadians safe” when the official opposition Conservatives asked about Ab Huzaifa’s residence in Canada given the man’s statements to the Times.
During Friday’s question period in the House of Commons, Conservative House Leader Candice Bergen said, “[Huzaifa] should be arrested today. He should not be in the streets of Toronto. If he can be speaking to the media, he can then be identified by the government, by the police, and he can be arrested.”
In his interview from the Times’ podcast “Caliphate,” Huzaifa described his role in “executing” Sunni Muslims who opposed ISIS.
“At first you have to bring yourself to do it. You say, ‘OK I’m finally killing someone now.’ This is maybe the next step to being a front-line fighter, and I already had some goals of being a front-line fighter,” he told the Times.
Before putting a bullet into the back of one man’s head Huzaifa said he tried to rationalize the act because “you can do it and you won’t be held accountable.”
He continued, “You kind of have to close your eyes and do it. You just shoot.”
But Huzaifa later said he fabricated the entire tale. When asked by CBC News about the Times interview, he denied the story and claimed even a polygraph test “will prove that I didn’t kill anyone.”
When asked what he was thinking when he told the Times the exact opposite, Huzaifa told CBC, “I was being childish. I was describing what I saw and basically, I was close enough to think it was me.”
In a statement to CBC News, the Times stood by its story, saying it had “confirmed with multiple intelligence agencies” Huzaifa had been a an active member of the ISIS detachment in Syria.
“Forthcoming episodes in our series detail the fact-checking process at length and show what we know to be true about his story, and how we came to know it,” wrote spokesperson Danielle Rhoades.