Harkat admits he lied but denies Al Qaeda link

posted on October 28, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Michelle Shephard Source: The Toronto Star online URL: [link] (subscribers only) Date: October 28, 2004 CSIS notes contradicted by his testimony Ottawa resident is facing deportation

OTTAWA - An Algerian refugee claimant admits he lied to Canadian security officials but denies any connections to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. Mohamed Harkat, who is facing deportation, yesterday told a federal court about his life in Algeria where he fled political persecution in 1990, his work in Pakistan for a relief organization, and finally his arrival in Canada in 1995. The 36-year-old Ottawa resident was arrested Dec. 10, 2002, after two federal ministers signed a national security certificate based on information gathered by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that alleges he is connected to prominent terrorist figures and is a threat to Canada's security. Lawyer Matthew Webber began and ended his questioning by asking Harkat if he had ever aided Islamic extremists, travelled to Afghanistan, knew bin Laden or associated with Abu Zabaydah, who is believed to be a high-ranking Al Qaeda agent now in U.S. custody. Harkat responded, "No, sir" to each question.

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