A Jordanian man who has been declared a danger to Canada’s security for spreading ISIS propaganda on the internet is being released from custody to live in rural B.C. while the government tries to deport him.
Immigration and Refugee Board Member Geoff Rempel ordered the release of Othman Hamdan on Friday afternoon, rejecting the Canada Border Service Agency’s concerns that he is a risk to national security.
While Rempel acknowledged the release involved “a level of danger to the public,” he said it was less than in other cases and Hamdan had no history of committing violence in Canada….
His lawyer argued the conditions would eliminate any risks, but a CBSA official opposed freeing Hamdan and noted Enderby was less than 90 minutes from the Revelstoke Dam, one of the targets he had named.
Randal Hyland said the dam was “specifically identified as a potential target for a terrorist attack” in Hamdan’s Facebook posts, and was only a “relatively short drivable distance from Enderby.”
The proposal to release Hamdan to a “remote location” far from a CBSA office that could monitor him was “woefully inadequate” and did not include any plan for deradicalization, Hyland argued.
The case — unfolding as the government has vowed to crack down on online extremist content — involves the fate of an Abu Dhabi-born Jordanian citizen who came to Canada in 2002 and was granted refugee status.
Following the October 2014 terror attacks in Quebec and Ontario, the RCMP identified Facebook messages by Hamdan that a Mountie said had demonstrated “clear support” for ISIS.
“Mr. Hamdan identified infrastructure in Canada which could be targets for attack. He encouraged lone wolves in the West who could not travel abroad to carry out attacks at home,” the IRB ruled.
“He shared a detailed how-to manual for lone wolves to follow in serving the terrorist agenda of the Islamic State. Additionally, many posts appear to be recruitment initiatives.”
Although a B.C. judge found him not guilty of terrorism charges in 2017, Hamdan is not a Canadian citizen and has been detained since September 2017 by immigration authorities who want to deport him back to Jordan.
The IRB ordered his deportation in October 2018, ruling he is a danger to the security of Canada, and a Federal Court judge later called him “an unmitigated liar.”
The bondsperson Hamdan will live with is a former co-worker who was his roommate when he made some of the online posts that led to his arrest….