Alleged Canadian Tire terror-attacker fit to stand trial, judge rules

The woman accused of assaulting and threatening employees at a Canadian Tire store in Scarborough with a knife on June 3 is fit to face trial, an Ontario judge ruled Wednesday after reviewing the results of psychiatric assessment.

Rehab Dughmosh is facing 14 terror-related charges

Rehab Dughmosh charges include one count of participating in terrorist activity, which relates to her alleged travel to Turkey and attempt to enter Syria in April 2016. (Pam Davies/CBC)

The woman accused of assaulting and threatening employees with a knife at a Canadian Tire store in Scarborough in June is fit to face trial, an Ontario judge ruled Wednesday after reviewing the results of a psychiatric assessment.

"I have no reasonable grounds to declare her unfit at this time," the judge told a Scarborough courtroom. A pre-trial hearing is set for Sept. 20.

Dughmosh, who was not present on Wednesday, was represented by court-appointed legal counsel Ingrid Grant.

Justice Kimberley Crosbie ordered Dughmosh to undergo a five day assessment at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ont. last week after expressing concerns about the accused terrorist's ability to understand the charges laid against her.

Dughmosh — who is facing 21 charges, including 14 terror-related charges — declared her allegiance to ISIS during a June court appearance.

"I am pledged to the leaders of the believers, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," she said in reference to the leader of the Islamic State.  

She has refused to appear in court a number of times since, and was forcibly made to attend an Aug. 21 hearing by video.

Dughmosh refused to wash or shower

Throughout that appearance, Dughmosh repeated, "You're all infidels. I do not pray to the God you worship," several times in Arabic.

A week later, the judge ruled it wasn't required for the accused to be brought in by force after a correctional officer testified she had been pepper-sprayed earlier because she had acted aggressively towards staff.

In her absence, Grant was assigned to represent Dughmosh.

The court also heard during that Aug. 28 hearing that the accused refused to wash or shower since her arrest.

Crosbie said this behaviour ultimately caused her to be concerned about Dughmosh's ability to stand trial.

"Her isolation behaviour may indicate underlying mental health issues," Crosbie noted in her decision.