Toronto

14 terrorism charges laid against woman accused of threatening Canadian Tire employees with knife

Rehab Dughmosh, 32, pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Toronto court last month

Shanifa Nasser - CBC News

July 04, 2017

A woman accused of assault and threatening people with a knife in a Canadian Tire store in Scarborough, Ont., appeared in court on Tuesday. This sketch made June 6 shows, left to right: the accused Rehab Dughmosh, an Arabic interpreter, Justice of the Peace Alice Napier, and Crown attorney Candice Suter. (Pam Davies/CBC)

A woman accused of threatening employees at a Canadian Tire store in Toronto with a knife last month is now charged with terrorism-related offences, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say.

Rehab Dughmosh, 32, had previously been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, assault, uttering threats, carrying a concealed weapon, and two counts of possession of a weapon.

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Dughmosh now faces 14 terror-related charges under Section 83.2 of the Criminal Code, federal Crown prosecutor Howard Piafsky told CBC News. The section bans "terrorist activity," whether it takes place "in or outside Canada."

Most of those charges mirror the woman's earlier charges, Piafsky said, but those actions are now alleged to have been undertaken "for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group." 

The charges laid Tuesday include one of participating in terrorist activity. 

That charge relates to Dughmosh allegedly travelling to Turkey and attempting to enter Syria in April 2016.

Last month, Dughmosh appeared in a Toronto court where she pledged her allegiance to ISIS.

"I am pledged to the leaders of the believers, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," Dughmosh said in reference to the leader of the Islamic State.

When police arrived at the Cedarbrae Mall store last month, they were told a woman had threatened employees and a customer in the paint section with a golf club and a knife. One of the employees was injured, but the injuries were non-life-threatening, Toronto police said.

Asked Tuesday why Dughmosh would not have been able to plead guilty today, Piafsky replied:

"Before she pleads guilty, she has to make an informed choice and part of that would involve being provided with some disclosure and being able to look at it and review it."

He would not confirm whether a mental health assessment will take place. 

Dughmosh continues to refuse legal counsel.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 21 at 10 a.m.

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