British Columbia

Othman Ayed Hamdan, arrested on terror charges, virtually unknown in Fort St. John mayor says

The mayor of a northern British Columbia community says a man who has been charged with terrorism-related offences has very few, if any, links to the local community.

Fort St. John's Muslim leaders say Hamdan had never been to the local mosque or attended prayer meetings

Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman says she hasn't spoken to anyone who knows Othman Ayed Hamdan. (CBC)

The mayor of a northern British Columbia community says a man who has been charged with terrorism-related offences has very few, if any, links to the local community.

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman says she hasn't spoken with anyone who knows Othman Ayed Hamdan, a local resident.

RCMP announced on Friday that they charged the 33-year-old man with three terrorism related counts.

An RCMP news release alleges Hamdan was involved in distributing propaganda connected with the group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Azhar Phoolwala, a spokesman for the B.C. Muslim community in Fort St. John says Hamdan is not known at the local mosque and never attended prayer sessions. (CBC)

The RCMP allege the propaganda posted online included inducement and instructions to commit murder in the name of Jihad.

A spokesman for the Peace River Muslim Association, Azhar Phoolwala, says his community had never met or even heard of Hamdan before police announced the charges.

Phoolwala says Hamdan had not been to the local mosque or to any prayer meetings or events held by the religious group.

Documents obtained by CBC show a 33-year-old man with the same name in Fort St. John owns a residential building contracting company called Noex Contracting.  

The offices of Noex contracting are located in this residential complex in Fort St. John. (CBC)

Hamdan is currently being held in custody and could appear in court as early as Monday.

He faces six charges under the Criminal Code including three terrorism-related offences:

  • counseling to commit murder for the benefit of a terrorist group. 
  • counseling to assault causing bodily harm for the benefit of a terrorist group.
  • counseling to commit aggravated assault for the benefit of a terrorist group.

The Peace River Muslim Association says it will be meeting with the RCMP and mayor on Monday to discuss this type of extremism.

With files from the Canadian Press

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