Burnaby resident Hasibullah Yusufzai charged with terrorism-related offence

A Burnaby man is the first person charged in Canada in connection with travelling abroad to commit a terrorist act.

The RCMP has alleged that Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, left Canada to join radical Islamist fighters in Syria.

Under the Combating Terrorism Act, which gained royal assent last year, the Criminal Code was amended to make it illegal to leave or attempt to leave Canada to commit terrorist acts.

The law states that this carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

Yusufzai's whereabouts are unknown.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has been attracting Islamist fighters from many countries, including Canada.

In June when it captured Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, the world took notice.

It's one of the primary jihadist groups fighting in Syria to topple the regime led by Bashar al-Assad.

Comments (13) Add New Comment
Mike
If he turns up in Canada watch how he exploited his actions for the peace loving and totally innocent Islamist criminal organization. Boy will the flag wavers turn out.
We need a faster way of terminating these so called Canadians from our shores. If not I will go to Israel and do what I can for them.
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Martin Dunphy
Mike: One man's meat...

Would the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion have fallen on the wrong side of that law if it existed back when the XV International Brigade was looking for volunteers to fight in Spain?
I'm sure the Republicans would have been branded as terrorists by someone...
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uknow
max sentence is 14 years. should be minimum sentence 14+ years
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Mercenaries
Being a mercenary is nothing new. There's neo nazis from Europe currently fighting in the irregular pro-kiev Ukraine militias against the Eastern seperatists. I bet if somebody here took a year long vacation to shoot up Eastern Ukraine while waving EU support flags nothing would happen when they returned, because that conflict supports the feds interests.

As for this guy if he really is running around Syria with ISIS, he just needs to snitch the moment he returns for a get out of jail free card. He has valuable information on their vetting procedures for new recruits, internal command structure and how to rank up in the organization by seeing others who have or by doing so himself. Gold intel so the world's intel agencies can field their own spies to join.

If you want to be a mercenary join the french foreign legion. Better pay, less likely to get shot in the back by your own guys because that's how you get promotions in militant groups.
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Bob
He must be allowed to do what he wants! Religion is all for peace and causes no problems because all the taxes they pay and understanding of other cultures.
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L
So, what about all those Canadian Jews who travel to Israel and join the military, commit atrocities and war crimes for which they will never be punished, and then come home? Why the racist double-standard, why aren't they prosecuted too?
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Lonny
@Bob i agree 100%
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Alan Layton
This law does nothing. These are basically psychopathic, young men, full of hatred and looking for glory. It's the recruiters that they need to go after.
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Dave
Seems to me we might be smarter and farther ahead to deal with the root issues that are causing these people to join extremist groups. Criminalizing this will do nothing to solve the problem it will simply make it worse.
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Karl Marx
Martin are you seriously suggesting we should compare a force that was fighting for communism vs a force that wants to behead you for not following their demented religious view? Seriously?
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Papa Hemmorhoid
Have to agree with Karl Marx on this one.

From 1937 it was illegal to join the Mac-Paps. There, I think, the analogy ends. They were not considered "terrorists", even by the RCMP. Just commie troublemakers.

The Mac-Paps were rallied in support of the Spanish republican government. They were fighting a Nazi-supported modern army bent on installing a fascist tyranny, and everybody knew it. The inclusion of communist and anarchist elements in that republican gov't though, caused Canada, USA, UK gov'ts to remain "neutral". Vox populi was in support of the republic, nonetheless.

Stalin betrayed the republic. Fascism prevailed in Spain. Back in Canada the hounding of "premature anti-fascists" began, then let up a bit during WWII while premature anti-fascists enjoyed a half-decade of popularity, until the hounding began anew in the late '40s.

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bobo
Bob, I love the sarcasm in your post. At least I hope it's sarcasm and not misguided thinking. Any religion that says you must die if you don't support their cause is not really a religion, but a bunch of nutjobs. People like that are the real enemies of Islam.
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Martin Dunphy
Karl, Papa:

Thanks for your responses. I'm not suggesting anything, though, merely trying to put things in perspective with an historical anecdote, which is why I started off with that paraphrased aphorism.
I'm sure there are lots of people who would find it a just struggle to be opposing Assad's forces on the battlefield. That they would be part of an armed welter of ideological baggage handlers might be beside the point to them.
"The enemy of my enemy" and all that...
Simple point, really.
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