Former UW student sentenced for terrorism

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Kevin Omar Mohamed, a 25-year-old former University of Waterloo engineering student, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on Tuesday for a terrorism-related offence.

Mohamed was arrested in Waterloo in March of 2016 by the RCMP and pleaded guilty in June of 2017 to a terrorism-related charge.

Mohamed has since been sentenced by the Ontario Superior Court for “participating in or contributing to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity.”

In 2014 Mohamed flew to Turkey and crossed the border into Syria with the alleged intent of joining Jabhat Al-Nusra. Jabhat Al-Nusra al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, is a Salafist jihadist terrorist organization.

After returning to Canada, Mohamed posted incriminating messages on social media promoting terrorist attacks in the West, beginning his investigation.

“We had noticed his activity online and had a few interactions with him. We attempted to interview him, but we could never line it up,” Lorne Dawson, a University of Waterloo sociology professor said to The Record.

“He was a bit of an erratic. The next thing we knew, he’d been arrested.”

“The University of Waterloo rejects violence or the threat of violence in all its forms, and embraces a culture of tolerance and respect,” Matthew Grant, director of media relations for the University of Waterloo said.

Mohamed was found on the Waterloo campus by security, allegedly hiding out in the university’s student life centre with a large hunting knife. Police also found documents titled “assassination” written in Arabic in his locker.

According to The Record, Mohamed’s lawyer told the court his client accepted responsibility for his actions and is willing to take part in a de-radicalization program.

In 2016, Mohamed was charged with possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace and a concealed weapon, as well as the investigation of five anti-terrorism offenses.

Since his arrest in 2016, Mohamed has a two-and-a-half-year credit for time already served.

According to The Record, Mohamed’s lawyer told the court his client accepted responsibility for his actions and is willing to take part in a de-radicalization program.

“He appears to be a much different person now than when I first met him. He wants to make it clear to the course he is not a proponent of radical Islam or violent jihad. He’s had a lot of time to think about what he’s done,” Paul Slasnky, Mohamed’s lawyer, said to The Record.

Mohamed’s lawyer, Paul Slansky was unavailable for comment for The Cord.

“I’d just like to say I’m sorry and I recognize what I did is wrong,” Mohamed said to the court.

The Cord reached out to Mohamed’s lawyer but did not receive a comment.

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