TORONTO — The government used its new power to revoke the citizenship of convicted terrorists for the first time on Friday against the imprisoned ringleader of the 2006 al-Qaida-inspired plot to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto.
Defence Minister Jason Kenney confirmed in an interview Saturday that the government had revoked Amara’s citizenship. He called it a “fitting first application” of law that he played a key role in bringing to Parliament.
“I hope that this case makes people realize what we’re really trying to do here,” he said from Regina. “If you basically take up arms against your country or plan to do so, and you’re convicted in a Canadian court, or an equivalent foreign court, through your violent disloyalty you are forfeiting your own citizenship and we’ll just read it as it is.”
Legislation that came into force in May, over the opposition of the NDP and Liberals, allows the government to revoke the citizenship of Canadians who have been convicted of terrorism offences — provided they hold citizenship in a second country.
The law also applies to dual citizens convicted of treason and spying for foreign governments, as well as members of armed groups at war against Canada. A little more than half-a-dozen Canadians have been notified so far that the government was considering revoking their citizenship….
Born in Jordan and baptized an Orthodox Christian, Amara moved to Saudi Arabia when he was four. He converted to Islam at age 10 after his friends told him he would go to hell if he didn’t. From age 10 to 13, he lived in his mother’s home country Cyprus until immigrating to Canada in 1997.
A university dropout who worked as a gas jockey in Mississauga, Ont., Amara emerged in 2005 as one of two leaders of a terrorist group that trained on a rural property north of the city and, inspired by al-Qaida, began planning attacks they thought would convince Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
Amara led a faction that was acquiring the components for large truck bombs that were to be detonated during the morning rush hour outside the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service office beside the CN Tower. An Ontario military base was also to be attacked.
Justice Bruce Durno called the plot “spine chilling” and said “the potential for loss of life existed on a scale never before seen in Canada. It was almost unthinkable without the suggestion that metal chips would be put in the bombs. Had the plan been implemented it would have changed the lives of many, if not all Canadians forever.”…
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Saturday, September 26, 2015
From the National Post: