The Unrepentant Terrorist
"I have a life sentence but I won't be in jail forever. My parole eligibility started two years ago. I just need to be in the right place to get it."
"[Imprisoned for] moral and financial support of the anti-war occupation insurgency in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. I've never killed an innocent human being or harmed women and children in any way."
matchmaking website Canadian Inmates Connect Inc. Momin Khawaja, convicted terrorist
Postmedia files Terrorist suspect Momin Khawaja leaves the Ottawa courthouse in 2004 under Royal Canadian Mounted Police protection.
"He was an aider and abettor of an attack in London that would have killed probably hundreds if not thousands [of Brits], and he can somehow disassociate himself from that act of terror for which he's been convicted."
"If recognizing what he did was wrong and wanting to fix it is one of the criteria they look at for parole, then my assessment is he has shown neither. The bottom line is that I don't think that Momin Khawaja is a reformed terrorist."
Phil Gursky, former intelligence analyst, radicalization expert, Public Safety Canada and Canadian Security Intelligence Service
"[Khawaja] become involved with a terrorist group that was advancing a fertilizer bomb plot in the United Kingdom. The trial judge found that the Crown had failed to prove that the accused had actual knowledge of that plot, but that he was involved in the development of a remote trigger and that he promised to build 30 such triggers."
"The accused also took weapons training at a camp in Pakistan, provided financial support and technical training, and transported supplies for the group."
Ontario Court of Appeal
This 37-year-old software developer, arrested in 2004, is the first Canadian to have been arrested under anti-terrorism laws in Canada, following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon and the foiled White House attack that ended up in a Pennsylvania field when passengers on that jet decided they would die fighting the terrorists who were sending them to their deaths in any event.
Those horrendous events that led to the deaths of almost three thousand innocent civilians were the catalyst that brought a U.S.-led invasion to Afghanistan to rout al-Qaeda, under the protection of the Afghan Taliban which had taken control of the country in the wake of the Russian-occupation troop withdrawal and the collapse of any law and order in the country with the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban. Canada was present, afterward, among other NATO countries fighting the Taliban.
Canadian Muslim Momin Khawaja was determined to do his part in joining Islamist forces in fighting NATO. He had received training at a Pakistan weapons camp where he learned how to develop detonation devices. And it was these detonation devices that he had designed and was building to help a terrorist group which had been planning attacks at crowded venues in London, to exact maximum damage among the kuffar.
A joint Canada-United Kingdom investigation had revealed the plans and the Canadian accomplice, and coordinated arrests took place to put both the UK and the Canadian plotters out of business before they could launch their planned attacks. Momin Khawaja, found guilty as charged, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008. He is an inmate at the Millhaven maximum security facility. But he is now applying for day parole.
Years ago in an interview from prison, Khawaja claimed it was his impression that the detonators he was producing were for use against NATO forces in the Middle East. He was, before being arrested, he claimed, on the verge of leaving to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan. Making it more than abundantly clear that this Muslim Canadian's Islamist sympathies were not that of a man innocent of the intent to harm others.
Which makes his 'life-sentence' punishment for terrorism rather laughable, when 'life' can be interpreted as eight years' imprisonment and parole can be considered for 'good behaviour'. And if the delusion persists that he did nothing wrong, there is a certainty that attempts to join Islamic State could be next on the agenda.