An Ontario man who went to Syria to join a faction of al-Qaida is out of prison despite the fact the Parole Board of Canada is concerned he might continue to engage in terrorism.
Global News reports that Kevin Omar Mohamed has been released from prison less than two years after pleading guilty. He has not participated in any de-radicalization efforts nor has there been any change to his “extremist ideological beliefs”.
Mohamed’s most recent assessment labelled him a “high risk to public safety.”
Back in October 2017, Mohamed, a former University of Waterloo student, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. However, because the time he had served awaiting trial is taken into consideration, he was eligible for statutory release.
Because the Parole Board believes Mohamed is a risk to reoffend, they placed “special conditions” on him such as that he not use a computer to access the internet and that he undergo religious counselling.
Additionally, he must let his parole officer inspect his electronic devices and must not “possess, access or view, or attempt to acquire” terror-related materials.
“The Board remains very concerned that the serious nature of your offences alone, coupled with your dangerous radical religious beliefs, would impede your reintegration and continue to present significant risk to the community as a whole,” the board said in its decision.
In 2014, Mohamed flew to Turkey and crossed into Syria to join Jabhat Al-Nusrah, which is an al-Qaida affiliate. Despite meeting up with terrorists, his mother and brother flew to Turkey and convinced him to return to Canada.
When he was back in Canada he posted numerous messages on social media praising Osama bin Laden and encouraging terrorism in the west. He suggested that terrorists “start small” by burning cars and “kufar”, which means those who do not believe in the Islamic faith.
“In those posts you made comments supportive of terrorist activities, promoted violence, and suggested that a person could create timed bombs to be put on planes or boats, and burn cars of ‘non-believers’; you also commented on the beauty of attacking the west, suggestive of attacks on the Western world,” the board said.
In 2016, Mohamed withdrew cash from his bank account and went online to ask how to join Jabhat Al-Nusrah. In March he was arrested in Waterloo.
“Upon arrest in March 2016, you were found to be in possession of a large hunting knife, heavy duty work gloves, a large sum of cash and handwritten notes taken from Al-Qaida publications which outlined targets, how to generate a plan, discussed firearms and grenades, and preparing then executing the operation,” the board stated.
“Based on the public safety factors and above noted considerations, your risk to public safety has been rated as high because there are current indicators of high risk/concern,” they added. “As you have not engaged in interventions and there is little in the way of evidence of progress to assess your level of commitment to change versus your degree of adherence to extremist ideological beliefs. As such, the Board finds you continue to present at least a moderate risk to re-offend violently.”
Should this man have ever been released from prison to begin with? Do you think that anyone that is a high-risk to engage in terrorism should be anywhere near the public? Let us know down below.
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