Muslim community’s CSIS “informant” (and Liberal Party MP’s staffer) says he wasn’t an extremist. Alrighty then.
Ian MacLeod in Ottawa and and Sarah Knapton in London, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen; with files from Central News agency, London.
Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Police discovered guns, ammunition, electrical components and books on terrorism and jihad during a raid on the Ottawa home of accused terrorist Momin Khawaja, a British court was told Tuesday.
The prosecution evidence emerged at the London trial of seven British men charged with conspiring to bomb sites in and around London, including nightclubs, trains and a major shopping centre.
British authorities allege Khawaja, 27, played a “vital role” in the suspected plot by making remote-controlled detonators to be used to explode bombs constructed from 600 kilograms of ammonium nitrate fertilizer the group allegedly acquired.
Though he is named as a conspirator in the case, Khawaja has not been charged by British authorities with any crime. Instead, he is to stand trial in Ottawa in January as the first person charged under Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act.
The London trial, which began in February, is offering a preview of the federal government’s case against Khawaja, in custody in an Ottawa jail since his March 2004 arrest. He denies any involvement in the alleged terror plot, as do the seven London defendants.
Crown prosecutor Mark Heywood told the Old Bailey trial Tuesday that when RCMP officers raided the home of Khawaja and his family on March 29, 2004, they found three rifles under Khawaja’s bed along with dozens of rounds of ammunition. It is unclear whether the rifles were registered.
Police seized several books, he said, including: Terrorism and Self Sufficiency, Defence of The Muslim Lands, The Religion And Doctrine of Jihad, CIA Special Operations and Equipment, The Art of War, On Guerrilla Warfare and an unspecified military manual.
Also seized was a combat knife, several boxes of electronic equipment Khawaja is a computer and software expert and some hobby rocket equipment, including a small launcher.
Earlier in the trial, prosecutor David Waters told the 12-member jury RCMP officers also found a cellphone jammer in Khawaja’s home, a lawful and commercially available device that prevents cellphones from working in the immediate area in a hospital, for example.
“Khawaja had it no doubt as part of his development of a more sophisticated and portable jamming device which could be carried by the bomber,” to prevent a stray cellphone signal from prematurely triggering a bomb, Waters testified.
[...]Meanwhile, Mubin Shaikh, an outspoken member of Toronto’s Muslim community, revealed last week that he worked as an undercover agent for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in its investigation of 17 Toronto men and youths charged in June with conspiring to bomb public sites in and around Toronto.
Shaikh said he offered his services to CSIS soon after his boyhood friend Khawaja was arrested.
“We grew up together,” he told CBC News. “We have a good connection with the family. I contacted CSIS, I phoned them and I said, ‘I know the family, I know this guy Momin.Is there some way I can help, give some information in that I’ve grown up with him? I don’t know him to be like this or his brother, definitely not his family, they’re not extremists.’”