Quebec teen convicted on terrorism-related offences

Quebec teen convicted on terrorism-related offences

Main pic: Flag of the Islamic State (IS), also known as “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) or “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL). This flag is also used by al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and Boko Haram. Pic credit: Yo.

MONTREAL — The prosecution says a Montreal-area teen has become the first person in Canada to be found guilty of attempting to leave the country to participate in terrorism-related activities.

The teen, who cannot be named, was found guilty of two terrorism-related offences on Thursday as youth court Judge Dominique Wilhelmy handed down the verdict.

He was facing two charges: committing a robbery in association with a terrorist organization and planning to leave Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group abroad.

“It is a first, it is a new infraction and it is the first conviction,” federal prosecutor Marie-Eve Moore told reporters.

The new charge was introduced in 2013.

The case stems from a convenience store robbery in October 2014 the Crown suggested was linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and was committed to finance a trip to take part in the conflict in Syria.

His lawyer argued the evidence only suggested his client, who is now 16, merely wanted to go to Syria to help fellow Muslims. The Crown argued the teen, who also engaged in Twitter conversations with jihadist sympathizer Martin Couture-Rouleau, was determined to get to Syria.

Couture-Rouleau fatally rammed Canadian Forces Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent with a car in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., in October 2014 and was eventually killed by police.

The court has asked for a psychological evaluation and a pre-sentencing report before discussing a punishment.

Moore says the Crown will wait for those results before evaluating what kind of sentence it will seek.

In the past, the Crown has suggested it would seek an adult sentence for the teen.

The maximum adult sentence for committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization is life imprisonment, while the the maximum on the travel charge is 10 years,

“Considering it was a youth convicted today, we have to promote his rehabilitation, his reintegration into society while protecting the public from such terrorist acts,” Moore said.

The accused must also be sentenced on the robbery charge, to which he pleaded guilty in December 2014, before the terror case began.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

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