Misbahuddin Ahmed’s statements are yet another indication of the practical consequences of Islam’s claims to constitute a global community (umma), the loyalty to which transcends all other loyalties. Imagine saying “You’ve got to look at it from their perspective.” about the Nazis as the Allied armies entered German territory in 1945.
“Taliban had right to kill Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, terror trial accused testifies,” by Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen, June 18, 2014:
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan have the right to kill soldiers from Western nations, including Canadians, who invade their land, accused terrorist conspirator Misbahuddin Ahmed said at his trial Wednesday.
Ahmed made the comment during cross-examination by assistant Crown attorney Jason Wakely, who asked him if he thought Taliban fighters were entitled to kill Western soldiers.
“If they believe they’re resisting, then yes,” replied Ahmed, a 30-year-old former diagnostic imaging technician at The Ottawa Hospital. “You’ve got to look at it from their perspective.”
Whenever a country is invaded, he said, there will be resistance. “In Afghanistan, the resistance is the Taliban.”
Despite that, Ahmed said he didn’t think Canadian soldiers should be killed, saying many weren’t in Afghanistan by choice.
“The regular soldiers, the infantrymen, they don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “It’s not the soldiers’ fault. It’s the government that has taken the wrong position.”
Ahmed has pleaded not guilty to three terrorism-related offences: conspiring to facilitate a terrorist activity, participating in the activities of a terrorist group and possession of an explosive device.
The Crown alleges he was one of three Ottawa terrorist conspirators intent on committing “violent jihad” in Canada and abroad.
One of the three, Khurram Sher, has already been tried on one count of conspiracy to facilitate a terrorist activity and is awaiting a verdict later this summer. The third man cannot be named because of a publication ban.
During his cross-examination, Wakely asked Ahmed about conversations he had with his alleged co-conspirator, whom he first met in late 2009.
Ahmed acknowledged that he knew the other man’s objectives included facilitating serious acts of violence, driving Western forces out of Muslim lands and spreading Islam around the Globe.
He also agreed he’d been warned to stay away from the man because of his extremist views but forged a relationship with him anyway. The two became “Koran buddies,” meeting regularly to memorize Islam’s holy book.
“I felt like he was someone who seemed very sincere,” Ahmed explained in court. “It was just his character that I thought stood out.”
He was particularly struck by the way the man prayed at the Woodward Drive prayer group both attended daily. “I didn’t see anyone who was so concentrated.”
Ahmed has testified that he disagreed with his alleged co-conspirator’s support for violent jihad and only wanted to form a group with him to hold “rational discourse” on jihad’s theological questions.
But Wakely pointed out there was little in secretly recorded conversations between the two to support that idea.
“When you had a chance to disabuse (his alleged co-conspirator) of his misguided beliefs, you didn’t,” Wakely said. “You didn’t actually try to change his views at all.”
It was clear the man’s views were extreme, Ahmed replied, but he hadn’t wanted to confront him “dead on. That’s not my personality.” Instead, he made “subtle references” in hopes of influencing the other man.
Earlier, defence lawyer Mark Ertel completed his examination of Ahmed. Part of it focused on the transfer of a bag containing circuit boards, a transmitter and jihadist videos to Ahmed from his alleged co-conspirator.
Asked by his lawyer why he took the bag and its contents, Ahmed replied: “To destroy it.” But that never happened.
Ahmed testified that he left the bag in the trunk of his car for about 10 days while he tried to figure out how to dispose of it.
He considered smashing the contents with a sledgehammer or throwing it off a bridge, but couldn’t find the time because of other commitments.
When his family made a visit to Montreal, he moved the bag to a storage room in his basement to make room in the trunk for a stroller, he testified. That’s where police found it when they arrested him on Aug. 25, 2010.