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(Redirected to Shaher Elsohemy article)

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A prominent Egyptian-Canadian Muslim, Shaher Elsohemy was paid $4 million dollars by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for his role in infiltrating the alleged terrorist plot in the 2006 Toronto terrorism case, though some have claimed he acted as an agent provocateur.[1][2][3]

He was given legal immunity to "knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity" and asked to help the youths acquire credit cards and purchase explosives.[2] After the arrests, he was subsequently placed in witness protection for his safety.[4][5]

Contents

Life

The Agricultural engineering graduate studied and spent much of his early life in Cairo, Egypt, but returned to Canada in 2000 and started a two-year career as a flight attendant for Air Canada.[6]

Described as a man who "loved the good life", he ran up costs on foreign hotels and meals who once took a friend on a one-day trip to Poland simply because they wanted to try eating duck properly.[2] Another time, he began describing his favourite restaurant to a friend and decided to take him on a one-day trip to South America to eat at the restaurant.[7]

He left his job to open his own catering business, which closed the following year when his parents declared bankruptcy citing only $4000 in assets, and $26,000 in debts.[6] He subsequently set up an import-export firm, although it collapsed when his business partner refused to follow through on their plans, citing the man's lack of money.[6]

Changing his direction, he opened two new businesses, setting himself up as a travel agency and an immigration consultant.[2] However his lavish lifestyle and inability to succeed at business left him with $20,000 in credit card debt, and another $168,000 in general debts.[2]

Role in the plot

On April 29 2006, the man asked the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) — with whom he had worked previously as an informant — to set up a meeting between himself and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[2] He told the police agency that he was willing to infiltrate the group of youths they were monitoring, but he wanted $15 million, and that his help "stopping the terrorist act, would be worthy of that amount".[2]

The RCMP negotiated with him for six hours but were unable to convince him to help them for any less than $13.4 million, and at 10pm, they agreed to schedule a meeting the following day to continue their negotiation. He returned with an itemised list of his "needs", which allocated $500,000 for his loss of revenue as a result of taking the job, $400,000 to buy his parents a new house, $40,000 to pay off specific debts, and $125,000 for each of his brothers, totalling $4.5 million in the end. The RCMP refused to meet his demands and the meeting ended still without resolution, although an internal memo stated that the police force had better agree to meet his price or else he might "become hostile as a witness, difficult to control and seek other avenues to be compensated". At their final meeting, the police agreed they would provide more than $4.1 million for his participation, including $900,000 for a new house, $250,000 for his parents, and $40,000 to cover his wife's dental costs.[2]

He was given legal immunity to "knowingly facilitate a terrorist activity" and asked to help the youths acquire credit cards and purchase ammonium nitrate from disguised police officers, and to have them agree to store the explosive fertilizer in a Newmarket warehouse.[2] He was given $2000 by Shareef Abdelhaleem as an alleged downpayment for the explosives which the mole claimed he could purchase since he had an agricultural engineering degree.[8]

A month later, both intelligence and police units co-operated to stage a series of raids across the Greater Toronto Area, arresting 16 young men and an older man alleged to have acted as their ringleader. By April 2008, seven of the alleged terrorists, including the alleged ringleader, were released after the Crown suggested there was no evidence they had planned anything themselves.[9][10]

See also

References

  1. ^ El Akad, Omar. Globe and Mail, Online leaks get around publication ban, June 2, 2007
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Friscolanti, Michael. Macleans, The four-million dollar rat, February 7, 2007
  3. ^ Teotonio, Isabel. Toronto Star, Toronto 18 attack was to mimic 9/11, June 23, 2009
  4. ^ CBC, 2nd mole played key role in bomb plot probe, October 13, 2006
  5. ^ Freeze, Colin. Globe and Mail, Was imam another informant in Toronto terror plot?, January 16 2007
  6. ^ a b c El Akkad, Omar and Colin Freeze. Globe and Mail, “Police had second mole in terror plot: Informant expected to be key witness”, October 14, 2006
  7. ^ el Akkad, Omar and Colin Freeze, Globe and Mail, “Police had a second mole”
  8. ^ CBC, Among the Believers; Timeline
  9. ^ Toronto Star, editorial, Now it's the Toronto 11, April 17, 2008
  10. ^ CTV, Alleged ring leader in Ont. terror case gets bail, November 5, 2007
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