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Canada fast-tracks terror prosecution


Thursday, December 15, 2011

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OTTAWA — Canada announced Wednesday it would move quickly to prosecute a Toronto man accused of planning to fly to Africa to join an Al-Qaeda affiliate battling for control of Somalia.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada said it had filed a direct indictment against Mohamed Hassan Hersi, 25.

"The Crown determined that it was required in the public interest to prefer an indictment, sending this matter directly to trial," said a statement.

Skipping a preliminary hearing in which evidence is tested and going directly to trial is usually ordered only if the lives or safety of witnesses or their families may be in peril.

Hersi was arrested in March at the Toronto international airport for allegedly attempting to participate in terrorist activities and counseling others to join him.

Authorities said he was about to board a plane bound for Cairo transiting through London to then go to Somalia to join Shebab and "participate in their terrorist activities."

He was released on bail a month later.

A trial date has not been set.

Shebab claims to have ties to Al-Qaeda and controls much of central and southern Somalia.



 





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