[R-G] RCMP agent concedes key role in set-up, running of terrorist training camp
menecraj at shaw.ca
Wed Feb 4 20:10:29 MST 2009
(Our taxpayer dollars at work....)
RCMP agent concedes key role in set-up, running of terrorist training camp
Globe and Mail Update
January 31, 2009 at 2:11 AM EST
BRAMPTON, ONT. - Mubin Shaikh always had the makings of becoming the great
In his teens, he was a drill sergeant in the cadets. While still in his
early 20s, he started volunteering information to the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service. A few years ago, at age 30, the Canadian-born Muslim
was publicly advocating for sharia law while privately making $1,500 a month
for informing on Islamic extremists.
He submitted an application to be a CSIS intelligence officer, but was not
upset when turned down.
"I was happy it did not work out," Mr. Shaikh, now 33, testified Friday in a
Brampton court. "I was interested in a more central role."
Defence lawyers put him on the stand Friday alleging he played a central
role - and then some - in unfurling Canada's most high-profile terrorism
conspiracy. Calling Mr. Shaikh an "agent provocateur" they suggested that,
in the cause of fighting terrorism, he committed terrorist offences himself.
Ten adults have yet to face trial in the 2006 conspiracy, whose key elements
now notoriously involve a winter training camp, an alleged bomb plot and
some chatter by would-be jihadists about storming Parliament and beheading
While trials are far off for the people accused of being the ringleaders, a
young man whose case was peripheral, but proceeded faster, was found guilty
last fall of being part of a terrorist group. The landmark verdict was
hailed as an important bellwether for the wider case and test of Canada's
The conviction has not technically been registered, pending the outcome of
the defence's abuse-of-process motion to have the charges stayed.
The defence has argued this week that without Mubin Shaikh, there would have
been no terrorist conspiracy.
The young man's lawyers called Mr. Shaikh this week to recap his work
infiltrating a group of young extremists, first as a CSIS informant, but
ultimately as a police agent. Posing as a committed jihadist, he gave the
group tips on countersurveillance, led paramilitary training exercises, and
even bought a rifle for a ringleader (before getting rid of it, unfired).
"I thought that if the RCMP didn't tell me I couldn't do it, I inferred that
I could do it," Mr. Shaikh testified.
But Mitchell Chernovsky, the lawyer for the defendant, now 21, plans to
argue that the police agent committed more illegal acts than his client,
found guilty of participating in terrorist training led by Mr. Shaikh. The
lawyer is arguing that police agents cannot commit crimes to unfurl wider
conspiracies - at least not unless special strictures are followed.
Beyond, that Mr. Chernovsky suggests, federal agents have a moral obligation
not to entrap vulnerable youth. "Did you ever tell anyone clearly and
unambiguously terrorism was wrong," he asked Mr. Shaikh.
The agent replied, "not so much." The voluble witness agreed he played his
role "to the hilt," becoming a mentor, a role model and drill sergeant to
young recruits. Unlike ringleaders whom he said were demonstrably dangerous,
he characterized the younger recruits as sheep who were easily manipulated.
Regardless, "I could not come out and say terrorism is against Islam. . I
had to play my role," Mr. Shaikh said.
He added that he tried to drop hints aimed at turning the teen away from
terrorism, at least when no one else was watching.
"I liken it to the breadcrumbs of Hansel and Gretel," he said. "I tried to
leave a trail where I could."
Charges were stayed long ago against other teenagers who were accused of
peripheral involvement. The youth at hand, a zealous convert arrested
shortly before his 18th birthday, remains the only non-adult offender before
A publication ban shields the identity of all accused.
Mr. Shaikh testified that he understood himself to be a police agent at the
time he led training exercises. This is an important distinction for the
legal argument, and it's anticipated that next week, Crown witnesses,
including Mr. Shaikh's police and CSIS handlers, will try to rebut it.
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