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US citizen linked to Canada terror suspects convicted on conspiracy charges

[JURIST] A naturalized American citizen believed to have ties to a Canadian terrorist cell was convicted [DOJ press release] Wednesday of conspiracy to commit terrorism in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia [official website]. Syed Haris Ahmed was found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists following a bench trial presided over by Judge William Duffey, Jr. Ahmed, a former student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was indicted in 2006 [JURIST report] after traveling to Washington, DC to take video footage of national monuments. The judge's written findings will be sealed until the trial of a co-conspirator, scheduled to begin in August, is completed. A sentencing date will also not be set until the other trial is over. Ahmed faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Ahmed was believed to have ties to a terrorist cell that was arrested for plotting to attack targets in Canada [JURIST report], known as the "Toronto 18" [Toronto Star backgrounder; advocacy website]. The group is accused of planning a series of violent attacks on civilians, public officials, and government buildings. Although little information was released about the minors arrested among the Toronto 18, the charges eventually laid against the 12 adult males included participating in a terrorist group, receiving training from a terrorist group, training terrorists, and importing weapons and ammunition for terrorism. Last month, one of the group's members, the first person convicted under Canada's post-9/11 terrorism law was sentenced to 36 months [JURIST reports] in prison and released by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [official website] in consideration of the time he had already served.

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