WATCH: Crown wants maximum sentence for first Canadian convicted under anti-terror law

Mohamed Hersi could face 10 years behind bars

The Crown wants the maximum sentence, 10 years behind bars for the first person convicted under Canadian terror laws.

Mohamed Hersi was found guilty last month of attempting to participate in the activities of a terrorist group and of counselling a person to participate in terrorist activity.

Hersi was handcuffed at Pearson Airport in 2011 while trying to board a flight.  The Somali-born Canadian says he was going to Egypt to study Arabic.  But the prosecution insists he was ultimately headed for Somalia to join Al-Shabab, a terrorist group with links to Al-Qaeda.

During Hersi’s sentencing hearing Wednesday, Crown attorney James Clark argued linking oneself to a terrorist group is an “inherently violent” activity.

But Hersi’s lawyer disagreed, insisting not everything terror cells, including Al-Shabab, do is necessarily violent.

“They (Al-Shabab) don’t recruit people saying ‘global jihad, come and kill people!’, Paul Slansky told reporters outside the courthouse. “They recruit on the basis that we’re fighting against incursions and invasions of our country, ‘come and support your country’.” Slanksy suggests that is what Hersi intended to do.

“I’m not saying Al-Shabab is an admirable organization. They’re not, they’re a terrorist organization. But that doesn’t mean everything they do, or everyone who wants to join them is doing so for the purposes of violent terrorist activity.”

Slansky characterized Hersi not as a radical, but as a moderate Muslim with more interest in sports, action movies, pornography and pot than in becoming a jihadist fighter.

The defence is pushing for a sentence in the two and a half to four year range. The Crown is after a 10-year maximum to send a strong message to would-be Canadian terrorists.

A Somali woman who identified herself as a member of Hersi’s family but would not give her name, said Wednesday that Hersi did not grow up with the values of Al-Shabab and that family members would have known if he was “planning something.”

“They’re (Al-Shabab) bad people who ruin other people’s lives...blowing up people, but that’s not what he’s about”, the woman said.

Hersi’s family and his lawyer say he was entrapped by an undercover police officer. They plan to appeal his conviction.

It was a USB stick left in a bag of clothes at Toronto drycleaners’ that sparked the investigation in 2010. On the jump drive: digital copies of The Anarchist Cookbook, which includes recipes for making bombs, a Canadian Forces Operational manual and reports from the security company Hersi worked for at the time.

Citing the gravity of the charges, Superior Court Justice Deena Baltman said Wednesday that she wanted to take time to make her decision and to lay out her reasons.

Mohamed Hersi will learn his fate July 24.

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  1. DavidW_8846 posted on 06/26/2014 09:39 AM
    I hope after he serves his pathetically short sentence, he is kicked out of Canada and forced to live somewhere where he will feel much more at home.
  2. john posted on 06/26/2014 10:48 AM
    we should get this pieces of shit along with he boyfriend kotter and his family kick theses assholes out of the country . load them on a military plain . fly over to the shit hole thay came from . push them out of the plain at 40,000 feet without a parachute . send them to hell . where thay belong .
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 06/26/2014 10:54 AM
      @john I agree with you, john.
      You and I are always smart and always right.
  3. Karl Burgin posted on 06/26/2014 10:52 AM
    If Rob Ford was here, this guy would be dead.

  4. john posted on 06/26/2014 11:50 AM
    hears the thing

    i got no problem with people form other country s coming here if they O BAY the laws of this country if pulled anything in there country we would be hanging form a tree by now . and it would be expected . and deserving . if i go into a country that is not my own i always look to see what laws they have . if u respect the laws thay respect u . i would not want it any defer ant here .
    1. john's mom posted on 06/26/2014 03:30 PM
      @john Try English, john.
    2. john posted on 07/02/2014 12:43 PM
      @john's mom donny p stop wasting your time . u are nothing but a bitch and i will treat u like one . so stick that in your crack pipe and smoke it or stick it up your ass or whatever u do on your own time .
  5. Shirley posted on 06/28/2014 03:21 PM
    I don't agree with some of the negative views but I very much agree with the sentence of 10 years as long as he is deported to his Country. This is a serious offence. No leniency for this terrorist.
  6. dean posted on 06/28/2014 05:00 PM
    Please remember that Karl Burgin is on here.
    u and I have to respect his feeling and should choose are words carefully as not to offend anyone or make them feel excluded.
    1. Karl Burgin's (P ' OD Neighbour posted on 06/28/2014 07:41 PM
      @dean Why would anyone respect the brown, full of himself, wordy goof ??

      He's a blight on Canada !!
    2. john posted on 07/02/2014 12:46 PM
      @Karl Burgin's (P ' OD Neighbour go fuck yourself donny piss ass p
    3. john posted on 07/02/2014 12:49 PM
      @Karl Burgin's (P ' OD Neighbour u are just pissed cause he rejected you cause he dont swing that way .
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