RCMP investigators have travelled to Calgary to look into a possible link between two Ontario men — one of whom has been fighting in Syria with Islamic militants.
- Calgary police aware of jihad recruiting for 8 years, chief says
- Warnings about potential Muslim radicalization went ignored, ex-U of C prof says
- Canada’s young men joining foreign jihad: Are we doing enough to stop it?
Abdullah Barahim of the Islamic Information Society of Calgary says he talked to investigators in May. The society operates near an apartment building in downtown Calgary that was the residence for five jihadis who eventually went to fight alongside extremist rebels in Syria.
Barahim says he was shown photographs of two men, but he was not able to recognize them.
The RCMP has neither confirmed nor denied the investigation, but a spokesperson confirms Mohammed Monir El Shaer and Ahmad Waseem — both from Windsor, Ont. — have each been charged with a passport-related offence.
Waseem flew twice to Syria allegedly to fight with Islamist extremists, but legal experts say he could evade terrorism charges if his activities abroad can't be proven.
Waseem’s Facebook page suggests he spent time in Alberta in 2010 and 2011.
CBC News has previously reported on connections between some young Calgary men and militant Islamic groups.
Salman Ashrafi, known as Abu Abdullah Al Khorasani, was killed in a double suicide bombing in Iraq in November that killed 46 people.
Muslim convert Damian Clairmont, who later took the name Mustafa al-Gharib, was killed while fighting with Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group in Syria whose membership is made up largely of European, Australian and North American extremists.
Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgarian fighting overseas with the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was seen in a video burning his Canadian passport and threatening to destroy Iraq's oppressors. He has reportedly been killed.
CBC News has learned that as many as two dozen other young men have, according to sources, travelled to Syria to join rebel extremist groups to wage jihad in the last two years.
Hasibullah Yusufzai, a British Columbia man, has been the only person charged under a new anti-terrorism law for allegedly leaving Canada to join Islamist fighters in Syria. He faces up to 14 years if convicted.