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Alleged Canada terror leader was "time-bomb" -mole
18 Jan 2007 17:14:17 GMT
Source: Reuters

TORONTO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - A Toronto man who infiltrated a group accused of plotting terror attacks on Canadian targets, including Parliament, says the alleged leader of the gang was a "time bomb", who hoped to build an insurgent army in Canada's north.

Mubin Shaikh said in an interview on CBC television on Wednesday that accused ringleader Fahim Ahmad had hoped to set up a "Chechnya-style" resistance in northern Ontario.

Shaikh, a devout Muslim who says he is opposed to radical extremism, was identified in Canadian media last year as a paid informant working for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to infiltrate a Toronto-area group that had allegedly planned attacks on Canadian targets.

"The way this guy was talking, my comment to my CSIS handler at that time afterwards is this guy is an effing time bomb waiting to go off," Shaikh said of early conversations he had with Ahmad, whom police had been monitoring since 2002.

Police swooped in on the group last June and eventually charged a total of 18 men and teenagers with offenses ranging from belonging to a terrorist group to planning bombings.

The case has been winding its way through the bail process over the last several months and preliminary hearings for four of the accused began this week.

A wide-ranging publication ban prevents reporting of evidence presented in pre-trial court hearings, but several details of the case have slipped out through leaked documents and media interviews.

Shaikh provided more details on allegations already in the public sphere, saying Ahmad envisioned storming Parliament, and beheading legislators one by one to try to force Canada to pull its troops from Afghanistan and to release Muslim prisoners from Canadian jail.

He said Ahmad planned to hit the CBC, Canada's national broadcaster, to take control of the cameras and broadcast the group's demands, and to orchestrate a series of car bombings.

Shaikh, a former army cadet and reservist, said he accompanied some members of the group to northern Ontario to scout for a potential safe house, where they planned to harbor two Atlanta-area men -- Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee -- accused of planning attacks on U.S. targets.

"They were going to come up here for refuge," he told CBC.

"The plan was to have a resistance, a Chechnya-style resistance in northern Ontario ... and we would fortify ourselves, and then if they came looking for us, we were going to take them out."

Shaikh said many key conversations with the accused were recorded by CSIS in his van, which the spy agency had "wired to the teeth."

Police eventually moved in and arrested most of the suspects last summer after members of the group allegedly attempted to buy three tonnes of what they thought was ammonium nitrate, a bomb-making ingredient used in the 1995 Oklahoma City blast that killed 168 people.

Police had replaced the chemical with a benign substance.
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