17 arrested in Canadian counter-terrorism operation

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

Seventeen people, including five minors, have been arrested in the Toronto area on terrorism-related charges. Over 400 officers, drawn from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and the Toronto, Peel, and Durham police departments raided a dozen locations throughout the greater Toronto area. More arrests are expected overnight.

Anonymous sources have told Canadian Press that those arrested are suspected to have been inspired by al Qaeda, and that they had plans to detonate explosives somewhere in Ontario. According to BBC News, three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer that can be used as an explosive, have been seized. RCMP assistant commissioner Mike McDonnell stated, "To put it in context, the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people was completed with only one ton of ammonium nitrate.” In order to protect the investigation, he was unable to provide any information as to the potential targets, but did state that the Toronto Transit Commission was not targeted.

The suspects are currently being held under extremely heavy security at a police station in Pickering, just east of Toronto. According to RCMP spokeswoman CPL. Michele Paradis, “The investigation is ongoing.” The suspects are expected to appear in court today, in Brampton. They have all been charged under Section 83 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

The father of one of the suspects, Mohammed Abdelhaleen, told reporters: "I'm shocked. It's crazy - it's just crazy. It has no meaning whatsoever."

The Arrested

The following contains the names released by the RCMP, that have been arrested. The list does not contain the names of the 5 charged minors. Under Canadian law, the police may not reveal any information concerning anyone under the age of 18. It is arranged by city of residence.

Toronto:

Fahim Ahmad, age 21
Jahmaal James, age 23
Amin Mohamed Durrani, age 19
Steven Vikash Chand (aka Abdul Shakur), age 25

Mississauga:

Zakaria Amara, age 20
Asad Ansari, age 21
Shareef Abdelhaleen, age 30
Qayyum Abdul Jamal, age 43
Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, age 21
Saad Khalid, age 19

Kingston:

Mohammed Dirie, age 22
Yasim Abdi Mohamed, age 24

Sources

Wikipedia
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