Monday, February 18, 2008

Canadian judge lets suspected terrorist remain free despite violating bail conditions

Welcome to Canada, where publishers are hauled before Star Chambers for printing cartoons and foreign terror suspects are released even after they violate the conditions of their bail.

A Federal Court judge has ruled that suspected terrorist Mohamed Harkat can remain free despite a "serious breach" of his bail conditions.

In a decision released Monday, Justice Eleanor Dawson rejected a request by the Canada Border Services Agency and Public Safety to put Harkat back in jail after his mother-in-law, who had helped guarantee his bail, moved out of their home without informing authorities.

Dawson also turned down the Crown's request that Harkat forfeit more than $100,000 in cash and bonds, saying the seizure would be unfair in light of the "unique and extraordinary circumstances" that led to his re-arrest Jan. 29.

Credit this story for providing full background information on who Harkat is unlike most stories I've seen recently.

Here's why Harkat is being held under a Security Certificate.

The Federal Court ruled previously that Harkat used an alias, travelled to Afghanistan and supported terrorism before he came to Canada - and that he lied about it when he entered the country.

Harkat has acknowledged he supported the Groupe islamique armee, or GIA , which authorities say seeks to establish an Islamic state in Algeria through the use of terrorist violence.

"Mr. Harkat's support of the GIA is consistent with support for the use of terrorist violence," the court ruled previously.

It said Harkat has assisted Islamic extremists who have come to Canada and that he associated with bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaida - since captured - in the early 1990s.

It also ruled that, since coming to Canada, Harkat had been in contact with people "known to be involved in Islamic militant activities."

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