Shaikh in 2008
September 29, 1975 |
Mubin Shaikh is an expert on Radicalization, deradicalization, countering violent extremism (CVE), National security and Counter-terrorism. He appears regularly as an unpaid contributor on major media outlets such as CNN, CBC, ABC, NBC and others. He has testified as an expert for the United_States_Senate_Committee_on_Homeland_Security_and_Governmental_Affairs (http://www.c-span.org/video/?325876-1/hearing-social-media-terrorism) as well as Subject Matter Expertise with NATO, the National_Counterterrorism_Center, Special_Operations_Command_Central and is an expert with the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Team (http://www.slideshare.net/MubinShaikhMPICTPhDc/usma-soccent-white-paper-final-dec2014-43588913)
Shaikh is also a PhD candidate at the University of Liverpool, Department of Psychological Sciences, Tactical Decision Making Research Group. (http://www.tacticaldecisionmaking.org/) and co-author of the acclaimed book, Undercover Jihadi.
His operational experience originates with his role as an undercover counter terrorism operative for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the 2006 Toronto Terrorism case. He was active with the Service for some years domestically 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 with the Integrated_National_Security_Enforcement_Teams 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 is clear from the court evidence that the plot was well underway before CSIS had assigned Mubin Shaikh to this investigation. The CSIS investigation was formally moved to the RCMP when Shaikh verified the information as disclosed to him by the subjects of the investigation. Following four 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 on the World Wide Web 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. He attended Quran school as a child as well as public school and although at age 14, he joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadet attaining the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer, an acute identity crisis led him to Pakistan, where a chance encounter with the Taliban would propel him into extremism. The 9/11 attacks made him reconsider his views and he then spent 2 years in Syria augmenting previous private study of Islamic Studies where he would go through a period of full deradicalization, rejecting extremism and terrorism as anathema to Islam. He then returned to Canada and began his operational work.
Shaikh is a Sunni Muslim.
Mr. Shaikh is a member of various academic organizations and since obtaining his Master of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism from Macquarie_University is an original member with the Against_Violent_Extremism (www.againstviolentextremism.org), the Canadian Research Network on Terrorism, Security and Society (www.tsas.ca) and the Tactical Decision Making Research Group (www.tacticaldecisionmaking.org).
Police and Court Roles
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 operative for the Service.
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 guerrilla 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
Faheem Ahmad, a second accused, explains his radicalization in this interview: https://theintercept.com/2015/02/14/imprisoned-terror-charges-fahim-ahmad-gives-insight-radicalization/
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. 8 of the arrested persons had charges stayed against them due to Shaikh's evidence. 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