Age: 28

Arrested in: London, Ont.

Charge: Conspiracy to knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity


A court sketch shows Khurram Sher during an appearance in Ottawa on Aug. 28, 2010, on a charge related to what the RCMP say was a domestic terrorism plot. (Sarah Wallace/CBC)

While Khurram Sher claimed on Canadian Idol to have come to Canada from Pakistan in "2K5," that was just part of the joke, along with a thick accent, stereotypical clothing and comical dance moves.

Sher was actually born and raised in Montreal and speaks both English and French fluently. He is a graduate of the McGill University medical school and completed his pathology residency in June.

In 2006, Sher went to Pakistan as part of an aid group sent to help out after an earthquake in Kashmir. In June 2008, Sher spent three weeks doing an elective rotation in the pathology department of the Maqassed hospital in East Jerusalem.

Sher's former supervisor and co-workers said they were stunned to hear of the charges laid against him.

"I don't believe that Khurram is a bad man, never," said Dr. Barkat Sharabati, a pathologist.

The imam at the mosque where Sher worshipped — the Islamic Community Centre on Montreal's South Shore — found news of the arrests depressing.

"I was really shocked to hear that two of our brothers were arrested. They're still young," Foudil Selmoune said.

Both Sher and alleged co-conspirator Misbahuddin Ahmed attended prayers at the mosque.

"Honestly … it makes me even depressed because you know that these kind of brothers were active in the positive way," said Selmoune.

Selmoune said Sher used to volunteer to collect and distribute food for needy families on the South Shore, as part of the mosque's activities.

Other friends of Sher describe him as a well-adjusted Canadian.

A friend from McGill, who preferred not to be identified, said Sher was a "fantastic hockey player who was an avid organizer of ball hockey."

The friend, who knew Sher for three years, said he was "funny, charming, intelligent — the kind of Muslim youth that is well adjusted to life in Canada."

A doctor who invited Sher to participate in the relief mission to aid earthquake victims in Pakistan said he was "surprised" at Sher's arrest.

Sher moved to London, Ont., in July with his mother, wife and three children to start work as a pathologist at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital.

Paul Collins, chief executive of the hospital, said Sher began work at the hospital on Aug. 3.

"From what I understand, he was pretty much head down, getting the job done," said Collins, who had not yet met the doctor.

Sher was arrested in London, Ont. on Aug. 26, the day after his accused co-conspirators were arrested in Ottawa.