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Alleged Terror Detainee Cuts His Way To Freedom

A federal court judge has ruled that Mohammad Mahjoub no longer has to wear a GPS tracking device.

Mohammad Mahjoub holds up his GPS tracking anklet after cutting it off in front of a federal courthouse this morning. Photo by Desmond Cole.

Mohammad Mahjoub holds up his GPS tracking anklet after cutting it off in front of a federal courthouse this morning.

This morning, a jubilant Mohammad Mahjoub put his left foot on a flowerbed outside the federal court building at 180 Queen Street West, took a pair of scissors, and cut off the GPS anklet he has worn for over five years. Mahjoub has been detained as an alleged terrorist for over 12 years without charges. Last night, a judge finalized the removal of many of the onerous conditions of Mahjoub’s house arrest, including the GPS device and surveillance equipment in his home.

“This is the end of my story with CSIS [the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service] and the CBSA [the Canadian Border Services Agency,” Mahjoub exclaimed as he snipped the anklet in half. “I’m so happy, thanks be to God!” He thanked Justice Edmond Blanchard, who deemed most the conditions of his house arrest unnecessary earlier this month, and his supporters, some of whom were in attendance at the courthouse. “I thank all Canadians who supported me and gave me hope, from coast to coast to coast,” Mahjoub said.

Mahjoub was first detained in 2000 on his way to work at a convenience store. Since then, his lawyers have been unable to access much of the evidence against him. He spent eight years in prison before being transferred to house arrest in 2007. He came to Canada in 1995 and attained refugee status after fleeing persecution from the Hosni Mubarak regime in Egypt.

“The government of Canada has taken my freedom without charges, without a trial,” said Mahjoub. “CBSA and CSIS have misled the government of Canada and the court.” He now awaits a decision from a federal court on the validity of the security certificate used to detain him. His lawyers expect a ruling in the coming months.

Photo by Desmond Cole/Torontoist.

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