The alleged members of a Toronto-based terrorist group are receiving support from other Canadians who say their names have been smeared by terrorism allegations, including members of the Khadr family and the uncle of a detained Syrian.
Sitting in the front row at a court appearance for the accused yesterday was 17-year-old Karim Khadr, who was paralyzed when he was shot during a 2003 battle with Pakistani forces that killed his father, reputed Al Qaeda financier Ahmed Said Khadr.
Also watching was Khadr's mother, Maha Elsamnah, who has been living in Toronto since she returned from Pakistan with Karim two years ago. The Khadr family knows at least one of the suspects, Fahim Ahmad, who is accused of being one of the alleged leaders of what police call a homegrown terrorism cell plotting to attack southern Ontario targets.
A few rows back in the packed courtroom sat Ahmed Shehab, who had his Toronto photocopy shop raided by the RCMP a week after the 9/11 attacks, and his nephew Nabil Al Marabh, detained on terrorism allegations in the U.S.
The terrorism accusations against Al Marabh were later dropped, and he was deported on an immigration violation to Syria, where his uncle says he's now detained.
Shehab said yesterday he recognized some of the accused, but came to court to show his support and send the message that the suspects are innocent until the court rules.
The Toronto 17 must be innocent because Allah has performed a miracle by having a man held in a Syrian jail bilocate to stand at their side in court!
Set them free at once, Your Honour. Only the most innocent of persons would consort with persons of such impeccable character as the Khadrs and company.
Source: Toronto Star