Abdellah Ouzghar

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Abdellah Ouzghar is a joint citizen of Canada and Morocco, who was arrested in Canada shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, on suspicion of ties to terrorist organizations.[1] A man in Taiwan had been found to be using Ouzghar's passport, which had been doctored.[1] France charged Ouzghar with "forgery, uttering a forged document and two related conspiracy charges".

Life[edit]

A truck driver by trade,[2] Ouzghar claims that he was initially approached at his Montreal home in 1996, and asked to work as a spy for Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), but refused on religious grounds - leading to an attempt to "set him up" by the intelligence service. CSIS admits having interviewed him at the time, but denies that they were trying to recruit him.[3][4] CSIS claims he maintained suspicious connections to Fateh Kamel, and agent Mike Pavlovic questioned him again on September 20, 2001.[5]

Arrest and release[edit]

John Norris, Ouzghar's lawyer, argues that even if Ouzghar was involved in forging a passport, that crime would have occurred in Canada, and should be prosecuted in Canada.[1] His extradition hearing was told how Zoheir Choulah's conviction in France showed a number of phone calls between Choulah and Ouzghar while the latter was living in Montreal.[6]

While facing extradition, Ouzghar became a computer technician.[6] During the raid on his house, a videotape was seized which was later said to "sing the praises of jihad".[7]

Justice Susan Himel, who took up responsibility for Ouzghar's case when an earlier judge bowed out due to ill-health, made a ruling on January 12, 2007, stating that "...there was insufficient evidence to show Ouzghar was a member of a terrorist group." [1]

However, the extradition battle with France continued, and in June 2009, Ouzghar was handed over to French authorities to begin his prison term for passport forgery.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Marissa Nelson (January 13, 2007). "Extradition fight far from finished: Ruling 'major blow' against French case". Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  2. ^ Judge rejects terror claim against man: Ottawa must decide whether to allow Canadian's extradition to France after court rules he didn't belong to terrorist group, Toronto Star, January 13, 2007
  3. ^ CTV News, Man facing deportation refused to spy for CSIS[permanent dead link], January 14, 2003
  4. ^ CBC, CSIS never wanted Ouzghar as spy: official, January 20, 2003
  5. ^ Bell, Stewart. "The Martyr's Oath", 2005.
  6. ^ National Post, "If I jihad a nickel for each 'victim' ...", December 1, 2001
  7. ^ "Ouzghar loses extradition fight" Hamilton Spectator, June 12 2009