If the police really do know, they’re not letting on.
“Pledging allegiance to ISIL like pledging allegiance to the devil, judge says of convicted Ottawa terror trio,” by Gary Dimmock, Ottawa Citizen, August 26, 2016:
The dark and rapid descent into Islamist extremism for three young Ottawa men who plotted to leave the country to fight for the Islamic State ended on Friday with the homegrown terrorists pleading guilty to crimes inspired by an organization the sentencing judge likened to the devil.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Colin McKinnon, in handing down sentences for the surprise guilty pleas, said homegrown terrorism is a virulent form of cancer that needs to be aggressively eradicated, and that the terrorist plans of the three men were a betrayal of the teachings of Islam.
“It is now hoped that they learn the error of their ways and the utter futility of pursuing jihadist terrorist causes, which constitutes a one-way street to inevitable disaster,” the judge told court. McKinnon said pledging allegiance to the Islamic State is like pledging allegiance to the devil.
Ashton Larmond, the 25-year-old “director” of Ottawa’s cluster network, seemed the most confident in the prisoner’s box, standing up straight away, saying he takes full responsibility, that he’ll learn from his mistakes and that it will never happen again.
Larmond, clean-cut and wearing a suit, was sentenced to 17 years for instructing a person to carry out a terrorist activity. When he walked out of Court Room 30, he smiled and waved to friends in the gallery, then shook his lawyer’s hand firmly. Joseph Addelman wished him good luck.
Addelman told Postmedia that the sentence reflects Larmond’s degree of responsibility, and his guilty plea allowed his followers, twin brother Carlos Larmond and Suliman Mohamed, 23, to get more favourable sentences. Carlos Larmond and Mohamed were each sentenced to seven years.
Carlos Larmond was arrested in January 2015 at a Montreal airport as he was boarding a flight overseas with plans of joining ISIL. He sold his belongings on the Internet before taking a train from Ottawa to the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. His descent into extremism was quick and came at the behest of his dominant twin brother. In RCMP wiretaps, Carlos expressed hatred for Imams who preach modern Islam. He said they’re worse than infidels because they tell Muslims to sharpen pencils instead of knives.
Ashton Larmond gave up his street life in Vanier in 2011 when he converted to Islam. He went from ecstasy parties and hip hop to studying an extreme form of Islam, and when his passport was revoked days before a scheduled flight overseas to join ISIL, he grew increasingly frustrated and instead spent his time recruiting others — including and unbeknownst to him, an undercover RCMP agent.
The RCMP’s case against the three men involved wiretap and informant-provided body-wire evidence. That evidence revealed, in particular, disturbing thoughts and plans by the Ottawa network’s director, Ashton Larmond:
On the day Michael Zehaf-Bibeau unleashed homegrown Islamist terrorism in Ottawa on Oct 22. 2014, Ashton Larmond said he had bigger plans for his jihadist crew, saying a better strike on soldiers would be to storm Fort Bragg in a cement truck loaded with enough assault rifles and explosives to wage a three-day war against U.S. troops.
After seeing a soldier at Tim Hortons, he said he wanted to slit his throat.
He is heard telling his twin brother how the attack in a Sydney, Australia, café should have gone down: “You take the head off one of them, then you’re in control.”
He tells his twin brother that he knows the police are “afraid of them .. they know our religion very well, this is why they’re scared. Because they know what our religion says about killing and stuff.”
He met the undercover police agent in the parking lot of an Ottawa mosque to give him $1,300 in an envelope to book a flight overseas to join ISIL.
Mohamed was the only terrorist who showed emotion in the prisoner’s box, and when asked if he wanted to say anything in court, he wiped away tears as he read a handwritten statement. It was written in pencil and Mohamed’s hands shook as he read.
“It is something I am not proud of and I would like to make amends. My time in custody has reminded me of my Canadian values and who I really am. It has shown me that I do not agree with extremism in any way,” Mohamed told court.
He denounced extremism and said he hopes to come out of prison a better person….
In the RCMP interview, Ashton Larmond said he’d never harm a Canadian citizen or anyone else because that would be against Islam.
Plus, he told them: “I’m not an idiot like the Toronto 18 guys.”
You got caught like they did, Ashton.