Accused terrorist not violent: CSIS agent

posted on January 20, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Mohammed Adam
Source: The Edmonton journal
URL: [link]
Date: January 19, 2010

Although terrorism suspect Mohamed Harkat was a "jihadist," CSIS has no evidence to suggest he was engaged in acts of violence, a CSIS agent said Monday.

And while his threat to Canada has diminished, there is still concern about him, the agent said.

On the first day of a Federal Court hearing to determine if the government was right to detain Harkat on suspicion that he is an al-Qaida sleeper agent, the CSIS agent -- identified only as John -- said the former Ottawa pizza deliveryman was a facilitator who handled logistics and ran errands.

"Ultimately, he is part of the support network that permits groups associated with the Bin Laden network to operate," John said. "He is part of the logistical underpinning of the threat."The federal government says Harkat was a soldier in Afghanistan in the early 1990s and has links to terrorist groups associated with al-Qaida. CSIS says he came to Canada as a "sleeper agent" who could be called upon later to engage in terrorist activities.

Labelled a threat to national security, Harkat was detained in December 2002 under the security certificate system, which allows non-Canadians to be held without trial.

The government wants to deport him to his native Algeria. Harkat has always denied he is a terrorist or a sleeper agent, and has sought to clear his name in court.

Presiding Judge Simon Noel will hear evidence from both the government and Harkat before making a decision. Two of five security certificates have already been quashed by the courts.

Fleshing out the government case, John said Harkat -- who also went under the name Abu Muslim -- operated a "guest house" in the Pakistani city of Peshawar used by "mujahedeen" (holy warriors) and extremists on their way to and from training in Afghanistan.

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