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'Toronto 18' member released after pleading guilty to terrorism charges

[JURIST] Amin Mohamed Durrani, a member of the "Toronto 18" [Toronto Star backgrounder; JURIST news archive], was released Thursday after pleading guilty in a Canadian court Wednesday to participating in and assisting a terrorist group. Durrani's plea [Toronto Sun report], which came as a surprise to many, included an apology and a denunciation of terrorism. As part of the plea agreement, Durrani was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison, but was credited with time served since 2006 and was to be released after one additional day. Durrani also received a three-year probationary period, a lifetime ban from owning firearms, and his DNA will be entered into a national registry.

Also this week, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice sentenced two members of the group [JURIST report], Zakaria Amara and Saad Gaya, to life and 12 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the plot to blow up key buildings in Toronto. Earlier in January, another member, Shareef Abdelhaleem, pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to charges of participating in a terrorist group and intending to cause an explosion. The first member of the group, an unidentified minor, was convicted in September 2008 [JURIST report], and like Durrani, was sentenced to time already served.

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