"Since the day he was charged, Awso Peshdary has steadfastly maintained his innocence."
"We look forward to his trial, where we will have a full opportunity to challenge the allegations against him."
Solomon Friedman, defense lawyer
Pat McGrath / Postmedia News Awso Peshdary, the alleged Ottawa terrorist financier, being released on bail from the Ottawa Court House in 2010.
It cannot possibly be simple coincidence that this young man simply happened to have been an innocent bystander in three separate incidents of Islamist terrorist plans taking place in Canada with disparate principals with whom Awso Peshdary just happened to be familiar. In all three instances he was said to have acted as an enabler. In one investigation which the RCMP had characterized as Project Samosa, he was actually acquitted of all charges brought against him.
But of the two men with whom he was closely aligned in Ottawa in a plan to enlist and radicalize recruits to take part in a terrorist network which planned to conduct bombing raids in Canada as jihadi targets, Hiva Alizadeh, trained by the Taliban in Afghanistan who had sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden was convicted as the ringleader and given a prison sentence of 24 years.
The second co-conspirator, an Ottawa Hospital technician, Misbahddin Ahmed, accused of being an accomplice in the plot to produce and set off bombs, was sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. Awso Peshdary had been under surveillance for his suspected involvement in this terror network, but never convicted. The 26-year-old was circumstantially fortunate, but his luck just happened to run out when the Iraqi-Canadian was newly charged with recruitment, facilitating and financing a homegrown terror network.
These were surveillance cases in which wiretaps, surveillance and evidence received from the auspices of an undercover informant connected Peshdary and five men, each of whom have been convicted of terrorism offences, as well as another two men who left Canada to fight for the Islamic State abroad, in which he was also implicated. He now faces serious charges of terrorism in Canada.
The operation named by the RCMP Project Servant revealed the existence of a "terror cluster" in the capital city, with intersecting networks of conspirators sharing recruitment of jihadis and enabling their journeys abroad to join the Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. Khadar Khalib and John Maguire, two radicalized friends of Peshdary already fighting among the extremists in Syria had terror charges laid against them, in absentia.
But it was Peshdary's association with Ashton Carleton Larmond, sentenced to 17 years, his brother Carlos Larmond, and their associate Suliman Mohamed, in project Slipstream, where each was sentenced to seven years in prison for their part in the conspiracy to commit terrorist acts in Canada, that produced sufficient evidence to place this man in prison, preparing to undergo trial and eventual justice.