This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Identifying Islamist Threats

"The danger to the security of Canada associated to Mr. Mahjoub now is certainly not comparable to the danger assessed in the past."
"I understand the position Mr. Mahjoub is in and the frustration he must be going through [but] at a certain point, a reality check must be performed in order for him to adapt to his future."
Federal Court Judge Simon Noel, Toronto
Mohamed Mahjoub Mohamed Mahjoub stands outside a federal court in Toronto on Dec. 15, 2011. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Egyptian national Mohamed Mahjoub was arrested  under a security warrant in 2000. And now the 56-year-old remains a considered threat to the security of Canada, sixteen years on. His legal battles, hoping to overturn the national security certificate allowing him to be jailed or his freedom limited without laying criminal charges have met with no change in his condition.

Mr. Mahjoub was released from prison in 2009 under stern conditions which have been eased over the years, but his goal was to have Justice Noel release him entirely from those restrictions. Instead, the judge upheld 23 conditions. There was a precedent for Justice Noel to base his decision on, a 2013 Federal Court decision finding the national security certificate in Mr. Mahjoub's case to be a reasonable reaction to what was known about the man.

After arriving in Canada in 1994, a year later Mr. Mahjoub was granted refugee status. He was subsequently, however, found to have been a top executive in Sudan in an enterprise operated by Osama bin Laden. A judge found, at the same time, that Mr. Mahjoub had once been a member of the Vanguards of Conquest in Egypt, a known terror organization. None of these incriminating details about his past were revealed by Mr. Mahjoub when he made application for refugee status.

When false declarations or failure to disclose previous associations known to be criminal in nature are made when seeking entry to Canada, the usual course of action for the government is to revoke status from the individual concerned and to then deport them back from whence they came. In Mr. Mahjoub's case, there are fears that if the government returns him to Egypt, he will likely be arrested by Egyptian authorities and if it is anticipated he may be exposed to torture, that concern will keep him from deportation.

Permitting this man to remain in Canada, under these circumstances, benefits him, but not the country. He will have to be monitored and continuing restrictions placed on his movements and his contacts. Although the requirement that he wear a tracking bracelet was dropped, he is still required to continue reporting to border service agents on a weekly basis. He will also be subject to physical surveillance and his use of the Internet restricted.

Canadian authorities still argue Mohamed Mahjoub, who was released from prison in 2009, still poses a terror-related threat.
Canadian authorities still argue Mohamed Mahjoub, who was released from prison in 2009, still poses a terror-related threat.  (FRED CHARTRAND / THE CANADIAN PRESS

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