Quebec man facing terrorism charges
Published Friday, March 11, 2016 9:34AM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 11, 2016 12:50PM EST
A Quebec man has been charged with attempting to leave Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group in the Middle East.
Ismael Habib, 28, is also facing charges of making a false statement to obtain a passport.
Habib was arrested almost two weeks ago in Gatineau after police received a domestic violence complaint against him from a girlfriend. He was charged with criminal harassment and possessing false documents.
CTV Montreal’s Stephane Giroux says police learned through Habib’s alleged victim that Habib was being radicalized, prompting an investigation.
Habib’s father spoke to reporters outside the Montreal courthouse where he appeared Friday and said he had noticed that his son had been becoming more and more radicalized.
He said his son had travelled to the Middle East in 2012 and was sent home by Turkish authorities because they feared he was trying to cross the border into Syria. He also has a wife in Syria, the father said, and she too has been radicalized.
The RCMP would not answer questions about whether Habib had been on their radar before his recent arrest.
During a brief court appearance Friday, a federal prosecutor alleged that Habib was preparing to return to the Middle East and that he had lied in order to get his passport.
The prosecutor told reporters she would seek a peace bond against Habib -- a measure that would restrict his activities, prevent him from leaving Canada, and keep him under surveillance through an ankle bracelet.
Habib’s bail hearing on these latest charges was postponed to Monday. He is also awaiting a ruling next week from a judge in Gatineau on whether he can be released pending the domestic assault charges there.
The RCMP said Friday the charges were laid after an investigation led by the Montreal Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, in collaboration with the RCMP, the Sûreté du Québec, as well as the Montreal and Gatineau police services.
The agencies worked together as part of the Counter-Terrorism Police Management Structure, established in 2003.