Mubin Shaikh: Wikis

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Mubin Shaikh

Shaikh in 2008
Born September 29, 1975(1975-09-29)
Toronto, Canada

Mubin Shaikh was one of two informants for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the 2006 Toronto Terrorism case, and moved on to become a paid Royal Canadian Mounted Police agent. He has expressed his dismay at many Canadians who were skeptical of the allegations of a legitimate terrorist plot.[1]

A self-described "fundamentalist",[2] it was alleged he played a "key role" in setting up and running the "training camps" which the others attended, and helped the group "quickly move from talk to action, before they were rounded up on conspiracy charges by police".[3][4] Critics allege that he "urged them to act, then sat back and counted his cash while the others went to jail".[5] Days before his testimony, he approached the federal police and unsuccessfully requested $2.4 million in exchange for a promise to "aggressively defend the evidence" in his testimony, as well as stay off drugs and halt his media interviews.[6]

Despite allegations of entrapment, in March 2009 judge John Sproat vindicated Shaikh of any wrongdoing.

Shaikh was anxious for his role "as a Muslim" to be made public, expecting praise rather than condemnation from the local community.[citation needed]

Contents

Personal life

Shaikh described his role in the alleged plot as "sort of like The Godfather".[7]

Shaikh was born at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, to Indian parents who had emigrated from the United Kingdom where his father, Mohammed Shahied Shaikh, had been studying.

Shaikh attended Grade 7 and 8 at Kane Senior Public School and joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets at the age of 13.[8] He then attended York Memorial Collegiate, where he briefly fought the urge to travel to Chechnya or Bosnia to participate in jihad.[citation needed]

In May 1995, he volunteered with Tablighi Jamaat[citation needed] and traveled to the United States, Pakistan, India and Britain with the group[2].

He met his future wife, Joanne Sijka, at York Collegiate and they married in December 1998 after her conversion to Islam. They honeymooned in Mecca and Medina, and have four children.[9]

A Sunni Muslim, Shaikh is also a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.[8] He has five tattoos, including one of a Muslim crescent emblazoned on a shield, and a number of self-inflicted cigarette burns[2]

Activism

After helping his sister obtain an Islamic divorce through the mosque in 2003, 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.[10]. When public outcry condemned the practice, Shaikh believed that racism and "hate speech" played a large role.[citation needed]

He continues to argue that Taliban attacks against Canadian troops in Afghanistan are legitimate compared to the bombing of non-combatants.[11]

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[12] and McGill University.

He has travelled extensively throughout the world and lived in Syria from 2002 through 2004.

Public and police role

Shaikh departing a helicopter.

Upon his return to Canada, he heard of Mohammad Khawaja's arrest. Khawaja and Shaikh knew each other from childhood and so he volunteered to work with CSIS as an informant, while continuing to volunteer at Masjid el-Noor where he had worked for at least ten years.

Shaikh appeared as a witness at an acquaintance's second degree murder trial, where aspects of his testimony were disputed. He was also charged, in an unrelated incident, with the assault of his aunt - though the charges were dropped.[13]

On November 27, 2005 - Shaikh met with members of the alleged 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.[14] He was allegedly told that several friends had planned a training trip in Orillia, and asked Shaikh if he would come with them and teach them how to use a gun, since he mentioned his military training and later showed them his Possession and Acquisition License.[2][14] He later went "shopping" for firearms with one of the suspects.[14]

In January 2007, he noted that he was still owed $300,000 from the RCMP for his role, which was then paid at the start of preliminary hearings for the young offenders.[15]

"I would like to know who in the courtroom is there free of charge. I'm sure the judge is not there because of his love for justice. I'm sure the media isn't there because of the right for the public to know. And the lawyers aren't there because they're crusading for justice. Everybody is there for a dollar."

Mubin Shaikh, interview with Macleans magazine regarding his demand for $2.4 million days before his testimony was due.[6]

In the summer of 2008, several days before he was scheduled to testify against the first of the accused to proceed to trial, he wrote a two-page letter to the RCMP, stating that he was requesting $2.4 million dollars in exchange for his promise to "aggressively defend the evidence and vocally support the role of the agencies involved", as well as stay off drugs and refuse future media interviews.[6] Although he was not paid, he nonetheless testified. However, at trial, Shaikh was accused of "confecting evidence" by the crown prosecutor who made the rare move of labeling his own witness as hostile.[16]

He has publicly stated that a number of the arrested should not face charges, including Steven Vikash Chand, whom Shaikh knew through his brother-in-law before the alleged plotting began.[citation needed]

As of 2008, he admitted that "the case is not as strong as suggested" - but still believed that a number of the accused would be found guilty.[citation needed]

Criminal charges

On April 3, 2007 Shaikh was charged with two counts of assault and one count of uttering threats against two 12 year-old girls.[17][18] According to witnesses, the two Kane Middle School students had ignored his request to not swarm around his own children,[19] and referred to Shaikh as "Taliban-boy" and "Osama bin Laden". One of the girls was either then pushed, or tripped and fell, to the ground. He then stated "Do you know who I am? I'm going to chop off your legs" to the girls.[20] Subsequently, Shaikh was alleged to have "ripped off his top", throwing it to the ground and challenging male students to an altercation - a charge that Shaikh has dismissed as "fabricated and exaggerated". Police say he then drove away "erratically".[21]

He pleaded guilty to uttering threats, and the charges of assault were dropped. He received a conditional discharge.[20]

Past Drug Use

Shaikh outside Masjid al-Noor in Toronto

Shaikh described himself as "a friggin' pharmacy"[citation needed] during his high school years, admitting to recreational use of marijuana and LSD,[5] mushrooms[2] and cocaine.[citation needed]

In the weeks prior the 2006 arrests, Shaikh again turned back to cocaine and marijuana[citation needed], spending "a couple thousand dollars" on the drug. Macleans magazine later reported that he had phoned an ambulance to attend to him after an overdose a couple of times.[5]

The news of his drug habit led attorney Dennis Edney to state that "...it's essential that the Canadian public is made aware of the extent to which these young men were manipulated and directed by CSIS agents, particularly when one of those agents is an admitted drug addict with a powerful personality."[5]

Macleans also reported that the RCMP paid for drug rehabilitation therapy for Shaikh, a charge he denied stating that "the cops didn't pay for anything", and that he overcame the addiction himself after an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca in early 2007.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ CBC, Public has 'played this off,' alleged bomb plot informant tells court, June 10, 2008
  2. ^ a b c d e PBS, Frontline, Canada: The Cell Next Door, January 30, 2007
  3. ^ Freeze, Colin. Globe and Mail, RCMP agent concedes key role in set-up, running of terrorist training camp, January 31, 2009
  4. ^ globeandmail.com: National
  5. ^ a b c d MacLean's magazine, The Mounties' man in the Toronto terror bust admits a cocaine habit, Sept. 10, 2007.
  6. ^ a b c Friscolanti, Michael. Macleans, "Toronto 18 informant Mubin Shaikh ups his price", July 23, 2008
  7. ^ Brean, Joseph. National Post, 'We weren't out there picking daisies', June 10, 2008
  8. ^ a b Riding Associations Ontario - Get Involved...It's Your Country Too!
  9. ^ SONYA FATAH » Archives » From ‘goth chick’ to devout wife
  10. ^ CBC, Ontario Premier rejects use of Shariah law
  11. ^ SONYA FATAH » Archives » Informant says attacks on Canadians are legitimate in Afghanistan
  12. ^ University of Toronto: Events
  13. ^ Fatah, Sonya. Globe and Mail, "The Making of a Terror Mole", July 14, 2006
  14. ^ a b c Singh, Gurmukh. The Indian News, Bomb-laden trucks planned in Toronto terror plot, June 11, 2008
  15. ^ globeandmail.com: National
  16. ^ Walkom, Thomas. Toronto Star, "If Shaikh's lying, whither the case?", July 4, 2008
  17. ^ globeandmail.com: National
  18. ^ Mississauga News, RCMP informant charged with assault
  19. ^ Globe and Mail, "Informant in terror plot faces assault charges", May 31, 2007
  20. ^ a b Pazzano, Sam. Toronto Sun, "Students' insults upset spy", July 4, 2008
  21. ^ Teotonio, Isabel and Thulasi Srikanthan. Toronto Star, Witness denies assault claim, Jun 23, 2007
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