Ontario man facing 'terrorism-related' charges
The RCMP’s National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) has laid charges on a Guelph, ON man for “terrorism-related” offenses.
Ikar Mao, 22, was scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
He is accused of:
- Participation in activity of terrorist group, contrary to section 83.18 of the Criminal Code; and,
- Leaving Canada to participate in activity of terrorist group, contrary to section 83.181 of the Criminal Code
“I want to reassure the citizens of the Greater Toronto Area and all Canadians, that our primary focus is the safety and protection of the public at all times,” said Chief Superintendent Michael LeSage, Criminal Operations Officer in O Division. “Law enforcement agencies work diligently to make our communities a safer place to live, however the public’s assistance in remaining vigilant and informing us of any suspicious activities will help us be even more successful.”
The story was detailed by CBC News. They say the RCMP were alerted by Turkish authorities last summer after Mao and his new wife were arrested near the Syrian border.
Officials in Turkey allege that Mao had ISIS propaganda videos on his phone via Telegram, an encrypted messaging app.
The couple was held in Turkey for 3 months before returning to Canada in October, according to CBC News.
Mao had reportedly told the Turkish court that the videos appeared on his phone unintentionally. He added that the newlyweds had no intention of joining ISIS or moving to Syria.
CBC News reported that in addition to having the ISIS-prefered app on his phone, Turkish authorities allege Mao and his wife left a letter for their families saying they intended to join ISIS. The couple denies that claim.
(cover photo source: Instagram)