Canadian judge sentences convicted terrorist to 10-1/2 years
Mohammed Momin Khawaja, the first man convicted under Canada's anti-terror laws, was involved with foiled bomb plot in Britain.
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The first man to be convicted in Canada under its anti-terrorism laws has been sentenced to 10-1/2 years in prison. Mohammed Momin Khawaja was found guilty last fall of providing material support to a British terrorist group that had planned to detonate fertilizer bombs in London.
Acknowledging the historic moment, Rutherford said he wanted to send a message that terrorism in Canada won't be tolerated, but at least one expert said the judge failed by not handing out at least one life sentence to the Ottawa software developer.
The Ottawa-born Khawaja
... has already spent five years behind bars, and must serve five years before he is eligible for parole.
"Momin Khawaja was clearly aware and knowledgeable of some of the terrorist activities," the judge said, pointing to Khawaja's association with internationally known Islamic terrorists, his work on remote-control detonating devices, his eager involvement in a terrorist training camp in Pakistan and his role in directly and indirectly financing terrorism from 2002 to 2004.
Khawaja was the first person to be charged under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act, pushed through Parliament following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
During post-9/11 travels to Britain, Mr. Khawaja met men who changed the course of his life.
They included Omar Khyam, a young British-Pakistani radicalized by the Kashmir conflict, and who gave his name to terrorist conspirators known as the Khyam group.
In 2003, Mr. Khawaja joined the British Muslims in Pakistan for paramilitary training, learning how to fire Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
After returning to Canada, he wired money to his British cohorts, and began building a detonator in his family home. When he travelled back to the Britain to discuss its progress, police and spies observed all his interactions with the Khyam group.