Ahmad Waseem, jihadi in Syria, ignored family's pleas to stay in Canada
Ontario man rejected outreach, apparently bolted back to Syria
A man from Windsor, Ont., who returned to Canada last year to recuperate from an injury he received while fighting with extremist groups in Syria rejected outreach from family, community and police who tried to convince him to stay home.
Ahmad Waseem, 26, had returned to the southwestern Ontario city after getting injured in the field in Syria.
“That’s the point at which members of the community, members of his family, of the police said, ‘Maybe this is our rare chance to pull him back from the brink and convince him not to go back to this place to kill and be killed,” CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault said.
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Instead, Waseem rejected their outreach and bolted, apparently back to Syria, even though the National Post reported that his mother had taken away his passport. He has since been charged with passport fraud in absentia, although it’s not known if this charge is related to his apparent return to Syria.
He's now wanted by the RCMP.
“We put our hands together with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and did all that we could to try to deal with this situation as peacefully and as swiftly as possible,” said Ronnie Haidar of the Windsor Islamic Association.
Sighting in Calgary
Bilal Abdul Kareem, a U.S. documentary filmmaker who has documented the activities of foreign fighters, related a story to CBC News about one young man he spoke with in Syria whose story was similar to Waseem's.
Kareem said the young man told him he was shocked by the pressure he felt at home while trying to recuperate from his injury, and was enraged at Canada for not sending troops to help the Syrian people.
CBC has also met with individuals who said they believed they had seen Waseem with at least six men who once lived in a downtown Calgary apartment building, and later went off to fight in Syria and Iraq. One of the men, Calgarian Salman Ashrafi, went on to be a suicide bomber responsible for killing 46 people in Iraq.
A Twitter account believed to be associated with Waseem also offered praise for some of those men. On that same account, there are messages of being trained as a sniper in Syria and of hiding to watch Mujahideen videos as a young man.
“We kill and beg to be killed,” read one post.
Waseem is believed to have later boasted online that he was able to move through the region despite being on a no-fly list, and said he was barred from Turkey but somehow got in, even tweeting a picture of Istanbul
If true, it would make him the third Jihadi identified early by police, and then put on a no-fly list, and who then left Canada using false identification.
With files from CBC's Adrienne Arsenault