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Accused 'Toronto 18' leader pleads guilty

[JURIST] The accused leader of the so-called "Toronto 18" [Toronto Star backgrounder; JURIST news archive] Zakaria Amara pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of planning to bomb three targets within the province of Ontario in 2006. Those targets included the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service office in Toronto, as well as a military base between Toronto and Ottawa. Amara is the fifth member of the group [CP report] to plead guilty or be convicted in the plot, and, because of his leadership status, likely faces life in prison [Globe and Mail report], though sentencing will not take place for several weeks. Charges are still pending against six of the suspects, including the alleged co-leader of the group.

Last week, a member of the group, Ali Mohamed Dirie, was sentenced to seven years in prison [JURIST report] for his part in the plot, while another, Saad Gaya, pleaded guilty. One month prior, the first of the group to plead guilty, Saad Khalid, was sentenced to 14 years in prison [JURIST report], though the Canadian government is seeking to alter that sentence, after the court credited him seven years [Reuters report] for time already served. In May, the first of the suspects to be convicted was sentenced and released [JURIST report], with the court citing time served.

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