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Canada judge convicts 'Toronto 18' member on terrorism charges

[JURIST] A member of the "Toronto 18" [Toronto Star backgrounder; JURIST news archive] was convicted on Tuesday for his role in the failed 2006 terrorist plot to bomb the Toronto Stock Exchange and other government buildings. Shareef Abdelhaleem, who pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] last month, was convicted after the Canadian judge found [Toronto Star report] that virtually no evidence existed to support his claims of entrapment. Adelhaleem argued that he was entrapped by Shaher Elsoheny, who was working as a police in informant and provided intelligence against Abdelhaleem and others that directly led to their arrests. The court found Adelhaleem to be the antithesis of a good witness during trial. It also found that the police used the necessary means in order to protect the public.

The "Toronto 18" remain an important symbol in the Canadian government's fight against terrorism. Last month, Amin Mohamed Durrani was released [JURIST report] after pleading guilty to participating in and assisting a terrorist group. Also in January, a Canadian court sentenced [JURIST report] two members of the group, Zakaria Amara and Saad Gaya [JURIST op-ed], to life and 12 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the plot. Abdelhaleem was the first adult to be tried among the "Toronto 18" originally arrested and charged under Section 83 [Canadian DOJ backgrounder] of the Anti-Terrorism Act [text], Canada's post-9/11 legislation. Five more members of the group face trial in March.

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