Montreal couple cleared of terror charges, bomb charge sticks

2017-12-20 21:59
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Montreal - A Canadian jury on Tuesday cleared a Montreal couple accused of planning to travel abroad to join the Islamic State group, but the man was found guilty of lesser explosives charges.

El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djaermane, aged 20 and 21 respectively, were charged in April 2015 with attempting to leave the country to commit a terrorist act, explosives possession and conspiring with a terrorist group.

Jamali's explosives conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, but having already served time in prison awaiting trial he was ordered released along with Djaermane under strict conditions.

These include restrictions on the use of social media, and a prohibition from contacting anyone in Syria or visiting a mosque they had attended prior to their arrest.

Prosecutor Lyne Decarie said she would review the verdict before deciding whether or not to appeal the decision.

At the time of their arrest, the couple lived together and attended Montreal's College de Maisonneuve.

'Common household items'

Five other students at the school along with two more local youths had previously travelled to Turkey en route to Syria, where they planned to join the ISIS group, according to federal police.

The month after the couple were arrested another 10 Montreal youths were intercepted at the airport while trying to board flights overseas to join militants.

Authorities said the couple's plot was exposed by a tip from a relative who was worried that they had become radicalised.

During the trial, it was revealed that Jamali and Djaermane had booked flights to Greece, which the prosecution claimed was to be a stopover on their way to Syria.

A recipe and ingredients for a pressure cooker bomb, such as matches, a clock, coffee filters and nails, were also found in the couple's condo.

The improvised explosive device would be similar to the ones used in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, according to court documents.

The defence suggested the couple had simply wanted to travel to Athens as tourists while insisting that the seized bomb materials were nothing more than common household items.

Read more on:    isis  |  canada

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