Canada's Border Service Agency says he is a risk to national security but courts released him anyway
Tuesday 06 August - A Jordanian man who has been declared a danger to Canada’s security for spreading ISIS propaganda on the internet is being released from custody to live in rural B.C. while the government tries to deport him.
Immigration and Refugee Board Member Geoff Rempel ordered the release of Othman Hamdan on Friday afternoon, rejecting the Canada Border Service Agency’s concerns that he is a risk to national security.
While Rempel acknowledged the release involved 'a level of danger to the public,' he said it was less than in other cases and Hamdan had no history of committing violence in Canada.
He imposed more than two dozen conditions on Hamdan, including that he not drive or possess weapons or electronic devices capable of accessing the Internet. He must also not make any social media posts or have contact with ISIS.
The 37-year-old, who was found to have served the ISIS 'social media agenda' and encouraged attacks in Canada, had asked to be released to live in Enderby, a small town in the B.C. Interior.
Hamdan promised to refrain from posting on the internet and attend counseling in nearby Vernon. He will live in a basement room in the home of a friend, who agreed to post a $2,000 bond.
His lawyer argued the conditions would eliminate any risks, but a CBSA official opposed freeing Hamdan and noted Enderby was less than 90 minutes from the Revelstoke Dam, one of the targets he had named.
Randal Hyland said the dam was 'specifically identified as a potential target for a terrorist attack' in Hamdan’s Facebook posts, and was only a 'relatively short drivable distance from Enderby.
In his testimony, Hamdan acknowledged that some of his online posts 'could be interpreted as implicit threats,' but denied he was a security risk. 'I actually find it laughable, I’m not a violent person at all.'
He also denied his posts supported ISIS or promoted terrorism. 'I did not support the Islamic State. I supported some of its actions in protection of the Sunnis,' he said.
He said he had been cleared of the charges against him but was now on 'death row' because he believes he will be killed if he is returned to Jordan.
'I’m an innocent man in jail,' he said.
Appearing at the proceedings by video conference, Hamdan twice left the hearing to meditate in his cell, saying the testimony had triggered his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Author's comments: Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, Canada has become a safe haven for violent supporters of ISIS at the expense of ordinary Canadian citizens, both in safety and in financial terms. Recently, a known terrorist, Omar Khadr, received over 10 million Canadian dollars for his alleged ill-treatment while in custody. I predict that things will get a lot worse in Canada before they get better.