Montreal teen is found guilty of 2 terror-related offences

A Montreal teenager has been found guilty of two terror-related charges, including the first conviction in Canada for trying to leave the country to participate in terrorist activities abroad.

Conviction makes 16-year-old 1st Canadian guilty of trying to travel to join terror group

Crown prosecutor Marie-Eve Moore said sentencing would promote the 'rehabilitation' and 'reintegration' of the youth into society, while ensuring public security. (Radio-Canada)

A Montreal teenager has become the first person in Canada to be convicted of trying to leave the country to participate in terrorist activities abroad.

The 16-year-old from Lachine was also found guilty Thursday of committing a crime in association with a terrorist organization.

The conviction for trying to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activities abroad was a first under new federal anti-terror laws passed in 2013.

Quebec Youth Court Judge Dominique Wilhelmy said the teenager's parents likely saved their son's life by reporting him to authorities.

"This sad story is one of a young boy invaded by messages of violence, vengeance and war transmitted by Islamic State," Wilhelmy said in her decision.

"How many others out there are dreaming of leaving Canada for the ranks of Islamic State like the accused?"

Interest in Syria, ISIS

Crown prosecutors said the teen tried to rob a convenience store in October 2014 for the benefit of a terrorist organization.

He pleaded guilty to robbing the store, but his defence denied the terrorism link and tried unsuccessfully to have the two terror charges thrown out.

During the trial, prosecutor Lyne Décarie tried to show the teen's escalating interest in Syria, jihad and ISIS.

She said information pulled from the teenager's computer showed he started looking at websites about those subjects in 2012.

Décarie also noted how the teen tried unsuccessfully in February 2014 to use his parents' credit card to donate to an organization fighting the Assad regime in Syria.

The prosecutor told the court that in May 2014, the teen tried again to use his parent's credit card, this time to buy a one-way airline ticket to Turkey.

The parents twice changed their credit card numbers and confiscated the teen's computer during the summer of 2014.

Décarie also told the court how the boy's mother found a phone number on a scrap of paper in her son's pants pocket. That number was later found to belong to Martin Couture-Rouleau.

Couture-Rouleau killed a Canadian soldier and wounded another in an attack in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu last October before he was killed by police.

The teen was interrogated hours after that incident.

Judge Wilhelmy ruled that most of the police interrogation was inadmissible as evidence in court. She said police never offered a full explanation of the teen's rights and the law.

Sentencing hearing set for new year

Crown prosecutor Marie-Eve Moore said she would wait for the results of psychological and pre-sentencing reports before recommending a sentence.

"We'll wait for the results of the report to be able to evaluate what's appropriate, considering it's a youth who was convicted today," she said.

"We have to promote his rehabilitation, his reintegration into society while continuing to protect the public from such terrorist acts."

Radio-Canada reported that the youth could face up to three years in prison for a conviction on terror-related charges. 

A hearing to determine the date of his sentencing will be held Jan. 5.