Canada pressed over Qaeda suspect

Kin say ruse led man to enter US

OTTAWA --Canada is under pressure over the case of an Al Qaeda suspect who relatives say was tricked by Canadian agents into going to the United States, where he faces five terrorism-related charges.

Mohammed Jabarah, identified as a member of Al Qaeda by police in Singapore, Canada, and the United States, was arrested in Oman in March 2002 and deported to Canada.

After four days of interrogation by agents of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Jabarah was transferred to the United States in April 2002 and is still in custody.

Alan Borovoy, general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, has written to Public Security Minister Anne McLellan to urge an investigation into whether Jabarah had been misled by the intelligence service.

''The whole thing is engulfed in mystery, but what has to provoke concern is the fact that this young fellow went to the United States against his better interests," he said. ''The question then is -- did CSIS do anything improper in order to facilitate his trip to the United States?"

CSIS is already under fire over its alleged role in the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian man arrested by US agents in 2002 and then deported to Syria. Arar's defenders suspect he was sent to Damascus because the intelligence service and Canadian police told US officials he was a member of Al Qaeda.

''It's very important that we get to the bottom of all these things," said Borovoy, who has yet to receive a response from McLellan.

CBC News, which profiled Jabarah in a two-part documentary this week, said Jabarah had already pleaded guilty to five terror-related charges -- including one for attempting to kill US citizens in the Philippines and Singapore.

Jabarah's father, Mansour, told the Canadian news program his son was convinced that the intelligence service had betrayed him in April 2002.

''Mohammed told me that 'CSIS tricked me to go over to the United States.' . . .He told me 'They made me sign a small paper to go, and I did not know what [was] on it,' " he said. Mansour said his son said CSIS had promised him he would be back in Canada within a matter of hours.

''The government of Canada, and especially the CSIS people, they misguided my son. . . . To put him [on] a golden plate and give him to another country -- it's not right." 

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