Shaikh in 2008
September 29, 1975 |
Mubin Shaikh was one of two undercover counter terrorism operatives for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the 2006 Toronto Terrorism case. He was active with the Service for some years domestically as well as abroad but the details of his activities are subject to national security restrictions and have never been disclosed to the public. He moved on to become a Royal Canadian Mounted Police agent when one of the Service investigations uncovered a group of young Muslim men of various ethnic backgrounds intending to engage in criminal offences regarding terrorism.
It appears from the court evidence that the plot was well underway before CSIS had assigned Mubin Shaikh to this investigation. Shaikh was not made aware of the information CSIS already had in order to keep him objective. The CSIS investigation was formally moved to the RCMP when Shaikh verified the information as disclosed to him by the subjects of the investigation.
He had expressed his dismay at many Canadians who were skeptical of the allegations of a legitimate terrorist plot.
Following three public hearings; Youth Preliminary Hearings(Jan. 2007), Adult Preliminary Hearings (Sep. 2007) and a Youth Trial by Judge (2008), and despite allegations of entrapment, in March 2009 judge John Sproat vindicated Shaikh of any wrongdoing and stated in his ruling that the groups plans were already underway prior to Shaikh's involvement and could not have been the result of the state abusing its authority.
The full text of Judge Sproat's ruling can be found at http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2008/2008canlii51935/2008canlii51935.html
At the end of the Adult Trial by Jury in June 2010, a comprehensive presentation of previously restricted information including court exhibits entered as evidence, complete with transcripts and video was put forward by Isabel Teotonio of the Toronto Star. It can be accessed at: http://www3.thestar.com/static/toronto18/index.html
Shaikh was born at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, to Indian parents who had emigrated from the United Kingdom. He is the older brother to two a sister and a brother; often protecting them during their childhood and middle school years.
Shaikh attended Grade 7 and 8 at Kane Senior Public School and joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets at the age of 13. He then attended York Memorial Collegiate, where he briefly fought the urge to travel to Chechnya or Bosnia to participate in jihad.
In May 1995, he volunteered with Tablighi Jamaat and traveled to the United States, Pakistan, India and Britain with the group. It was in Quetta in 1995 during this trip, that he met with the Taliban prior to their takeover of Afghanistan in 1995.
Shaikh became a volunteer with the Masjid al-Noor's arbitration process. In 2005, he began actively campaigning for recognition of Sharia law as a voluntary method of dispute-resolution in Ontario's Muslim community. When public outcry condemned the practice, Shaikh believed that racism and "hate speech" played a large role.
He is also a noted activist and public speaker, speaking on a 2004 panel for the Millennium Scholarship Foundation at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the International Law Student Conference of November 2004. He has appeared as a panel speaker at the University of Toronto and McGill University.
He has travelled extensively throughout the world and lived in Syria from 2002 through 2004.
Public and police role
Upon his return to Canada from Syria in 2004, he heard of Mohammad Khawaja's arrest. Khawaja and Shaikh knew each other from childhood and subsequent meetings with CSIS convinced him to work as a covert human intelligence source.
On November 27, 2005 - Shaikh met with members of the terrorist plot at an information meeting at the Taj Banquet Hall regarding the controversial use of security certificates in the country, and began his "infiltration" of the group.
He was told that a training trip to Orillia had been planned (the two leaders had already visited the camp site prior to Shaikh's assignment in the case, and asked Shaikh if he would train them in guerilla tactics and teach them how to use a gun. Shaikh mentioned his military training and later showed them his Possession and Acquisition License. Zakaria Amara then invited Shaikh to purchase a rifle and some ammunition.
Zakaria Amara would eventually plead guilty and his public apology to Canadians (including the Muslim community) can be found here: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/750838--apology-read-by-zakaria-amara
The first legal hearing took place in January 2007. It would be followed by four other proceedings: an Adult Preliminary Hearing (halted by the Prosecution mid-way and proceeded to trial in 2010), a Youth Trial by judge alone (found guilty but released with time served), an Abuse of Process Motion (Entrapment hearing) and Adult Trial by jury. 
In 2009 an 'abuse of process' motion was heard where the issue of entrapment was discussed at length. Judge Sproat took into consideration all allegations and concluded that no such entrapment took place and that Shaikh 'exhibited a great number of the hallmarks of a truthful and credible witness'.
Shaikh testified yet again at the adult trial by jury of ringleader Fahim Ahmad, Asad Ansari and Steven Chand in April 2010 - the fifth such legal proceeding. Fahim Ahmed plead guilty mid-way through this trial and has since been sentenced to 16 years.
Shaikh's testimony in this landmark prosecution ended May 2010.
A comprehensive and detailed account of the case was done by Isabel Teotonio of the Toronto Star and is available at http://www3.thestar.com/static/toronto18/index.html
Since the case and the subsequent prosecutions, Mubin Shaikh has obtained a Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism (MPICT) from Macquarie University and is currently a PhD candidate in (Applied) Psychology with the University of Liverpool's, Tactical Decision Making Research Group. Link: http://www.liv.ac.uk/psychology-health-and-society/postgraduate-study/programmes/applied-psychology/psychology-mphil-phd/about-us/
He is also a member of the Canadian research network on terrorism, security and society at www.tsas.ca, engaged in the academic study of radicalization and terrorism in North America and Europe. His LinkedIn profile is available here: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/mubin-shaikh-mpict-phd-cand/29/640/9b9
- CBC, Public has 'played this off,' alleged bomb plot informant tells court, June 10, 2008
- Riding Associations Ontario - Get Involved...It's Your Country Too!
- PBS, Frontline, Canada: The Cell Next Door, January 30, 2007
- CBC, Ontario Premier rejects use of Shariah law
- University of Toronto: Events
- Singh, Gurmukh. The Indian News, Bomb-laden trucks planned in Toronto terror plot, June 11, 2008
- globeandmail.com: National