|Dec. 3, 2003. 10:08 AM|
Retired agent offers glimpse of man's fate
Deserves presumption of innocence: Easter
MICHELLE SHEPHARD AND TONDA MACCHARLES
Although Abdurahman Khadr hopes to slip quietly into a life of high school courses and part-time work, it'll likely be with an entourage of security agents in tow."He's going to be watched, that's for sure, 100 per cent. The current law under the Anti-Terrorism Act totally justifies it," said Michele Juneau-Katsuya, a former Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent recently retired after 21 years.The former Guantanamo Bay detainee implored the public earlier this week to not judge him since he did not face any charges while in American custody for the past two years. But at the same press conference, Khadr later admitted that in the summer of 1998 he attended a notorious training camp in Afghanistan, which Osama bin Laden is rumoured to have visited.The Al Qaeda-linked Khalden camp, where Khadr said he learned to use assault weapons when he was 15, also hosted Zacarias Moussaoui, who is awaiting a trial for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S., and Ahmed Ressam, the Canadian resident who admitted to a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. Juneau-Katsuya said that charged or not, authorities likely won't ignore his family's alleged Al Qaeda connections."He's got a stigma and he should work hard at getting rid of it, but meanwhile not take offence that society is suspicious of him and that he'll have a babysitter from CSIS for a long period of time watching whatever he is doing," Juneau-Katsuya said yesterday.CSIS spokesperson Nicole Currier said she could not confirm whether Khadr "will be of interest to us or is."U.S. authorities are still searching for Khadr's father, Ahmed Said Khadr, known to intelligence officials as "Al Kanadi" — the Canadian. They've been quoted as saying the father is an important associate of Osama bin Laden and is in hiding with his oldest son, Abdullah. Speaking to reporters after a federal cabinet meeting, Canada's top law enforcement officer downplayed suggestions that Khadr's presence in Canada threatens national security.Solicitor General Wayne Easter refused to say whether the 20-year-old might face charges under Canadian laws that outlaw terrorist activity, and specifically said he deserved the "presumption of innocence."Khadr arrived in Toronto Sunday, accompanied by a Canadian official from the embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Staying in his grandmother's Scarborough home, Khadr spent most of yesterday catching up on sleep before visiting his Toronto lawyer, Rocco Galati. "I think he's just trying to now get used to the cold again," Galati said yesterday.His first priority, Galati said, is to help Khadr's mother and sister obtain passports so they can return to Canada from Pakistan. A spokesperson with the Department of Foreign Affairs says the mother and sister have been placed on a passport control list because they had repeatedly lost their passports and asked to have them replaced, beginning in 1999.