Man interrogated by CSIS, RCMP suing to clear his name
A Toronto man who said he faced days of interrogation by Canadian intelligence officials after he was spotted videotaping the city's landmarks is suing the federal government to clear his name that he's not a terrorist.
Kassim Mohamed launched a lawsuit seeking a million dollars in damages and a letter stating he's not a terrorist after being detained and interrogated by Canadian and Egyptian officials.
Mohamed said that on his way to Egypt in May to attend the birth of his child, he was stopped by authorities in Athens and sent back to Toronto.
When he arrived in Toronto, he said a Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent was waiting.
Over the next 10 days, Mohamed said he was repeatedly interrogated by both CSIS and RCMP officers and given two polygraph tests.
He said they focused on videotapes found in his luggage, in particular some scenes he shot of the CN Tower and a Toronto subway station.
Mohamed said the agents asked him if he was a terrorist doing reconnaissance.
The video, he said, was for his children who were attending an Islamic school in Egypt.
The Canadian agents cleared him to leave for Egypt, he said. But when he finally made it to Cairo, he said he was arrested.
The Egyptians held him handcuffed and blindfolded for nearly two weeks in a detention centre, interrogating him several times, and refusing to allow him to contact his wife or the Canadian Embassy, Mohamed said.
When he was finally released, Mohamed said his house in Egypt had been raided by police.
Neither the RCMP nor CSIS would comment about the case.
Mohamed said when he arrived back in Canada, a CSIS agent apologized.
Lorne Waldman, Mohamed's lawyer, said the RCMP confirmed an investigation began after his client was seen videotaping the CN Tower from a city bus.
Waldman said an RCMP agent told him Mohamed was clear, but Waldman said he wants "a letter from a responsible and senior official from the RCMP indicating [Mohamed] is not of interest and he doesn't pose a danger to anyone."