Canada

Ontario woman facing terror-related charges granted bail

An Ontario woman facing terror-related charges with her husband after they allegedly tried to cross the Turkish border to Syria two years ago has been granted bail.

Haleema Mustafa and Ikar Mao awaiting June trial on 2 terror-related charges

Haleema Mustafa is being held at Maplehurst Correctional Centre in Milton, Ont., while awaiting trial with her husband on two terror-related charges. She was granted bail Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court. This photo was taken for a 2016 CBC article on the hijab in which Mustafa was featured. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC)

An Ontario woman facing terror-related charges with her husband after they allegedly tried to cross the Turkish border to Syria two years ago has been granted bail.

Haleema Mustafa, 23, appeared Wednesday morning via Zoom in Ontario Superior Court in Brampton from the Maplehurst Correctional Centre in Milton.

Mustafa's bail was granted with conditions that require her to:

  • Reside with the relative providing her surety.
  • Have her internet access supervised and stay off social media.
  • Conduct regular check-ins with RCMP.
  • Not apply for a passport.
  • Not own any weapons.
  • Remain in Ontario.

Her bail hearing was held last Friday, but the details are protected by a publication ban. 

The Markham, Ont., woman and her husband, Ikar Mao, are charged with leaving Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group and participating in the activities of a terrorist group.

Mustafa's husband, Ikar Mao, was denied bail in December 2019. This photo was posted on his profile on Couchsurfing.com, which Mao used in the summer of 2019 to look for accommodation in Sanliurfa, a Turkish city less than 50 kilometres from the Syrian border. (Ikar Mao/Couchsurfing.com)

Mustafa and Mao, who is from Guelph, Ont., were detained in Turkey in July 2019 after family members alerted officials they feared they might be planning to cross the border into Syria to join the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). They were released and returned to Canada in October 2019.

Mao was arrested and charged in November 2019. He was denied bail in December 2019. 

Nine months later, Mustafa was also arrested in Pickering, Ont., and charged with the same offences.

The couple will be tried together. Trial dates are set for four weeks beginning in June, but those dates may change because of COVID-related restrictions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie Nicholson

Senior Reporter

Katie Nicholson is a senior reporter with CBC News based in Toronto.

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