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Spy agency accused of violating terrorist's rights

  • Story Highlights
  • Al Qaeda operative's constitutional rights violated, Canada federal watchdog says
  • Mohammed Mansour Jabarah "arbitrarily detained," panel tells Parliament
  • Jabarah, a Canadian citizen, apprehended in Oman in 2002
  • Operative confessed to plots to bomb U.S. and Israeli embassies in Asia

OTTAWA, Canada (AP) -- Canada's intelligence agency overstepped its mandate and violated the constitutional rights of a Canadian al Qaeda operative plotting to bomb U.S. and Israeli embassies in Asia, a federal watchdog said Wednesday.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services "arbitrarily detained" Mohammed Mansour Jabarah in violation of Canada's Charter of Rights, and his admission of guilt -- made without the benefit of any independent legal advice -- resulted in his self-incrimination and hand-over to U.S. authorities, the Security Intelligence Review Committee said in its annual report to Parliament.

The Canadian government has been working to overcome earlier embarrassments in its handling of terror suspects.

"Jabarah is a terrorist but also a Canadian citizen, and no matter how despicable his actions, the Charter conferred on him certain fundamental rights," the report said, concluding that the intelligence agency "strayed from its security intelligence mandate into the area of law enforcement."

Jabarah confessed to being a member of al Qaeda and the leader of a terrorist cell that plotted to bomb the American and Israeli embassies in Singapore and Manila.

He was apprehended in Oman in March 2002.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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