OTTAWA — A man arrested in connection with a terror probe, but never charged, has been granted bail on unrelated assault allegations.
While the RCMP arrested the 20-year-old Ottawa man last week in connection with their year-long homegrown terror probe, he wasn’t charged in that case.
Instead, the call-centre worker was detained on domestic assault charges for allegedly shoving and threatening his wife in incidents in April and August.
Those matters came to the attention of police through audio surveillance of their home.
Richard Morris, the man’s lawyer, questioned why authorities took so long to charge his client with assault, given that police had apparently been eavesdropping for months.
“If we operate on the assumption that the RCMP was listening to these taps … before the 27th of August, one has to question how real they thought the danger was if they chose not to intervene,” he said.
“Either they thought there was no real danger or the RCMP chose to prefer their investigation to the safety of this complainant and her child.”
Family members posted $8,000 bond for the man, who must stay away from his wife and cannot possess weapons or a passport.
Morris said he was prepared to call testimony from two Mounties involved in the terror probe, but in the end it wasn’t necessary.
The Crown consented to the bail provisions, apparently signalling an end to an unusual legal chapter — one in which the man seemed, for a time, to be a suspect in the terror investigation.
Morris’s client, taken into custody Aug. 27, appeared in court Saturday on initial assault charges, was released on bail, then immediately arrested again on similar charges.
That prompted Morris to claim the tactics were a ploy to give authorities more time to try to link the man to the terror case.
While many media outlets have named the individual, The Canadian Press has refrained from doing so because the RCMP has not publicly connected the man to the terrorism probe, nor indicated it will proceed any further.
The gaunt, bearded man said nothing to waiting media as he was hustled into the back of a car that quickly sped away after the court proceedings.
He knows nothing about an extremist plot, Morris said. “He has no idea what they’re talking about.”
Morris said the terrorism element is now off the table as far as he’s concerned.
“I’m going to ignore it. I’m going to deal with the charges that are before the courts.”
Three other men remain in custody on terrorism charges following the investigation by the Mounties, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and other agencies.
Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, both of Ottawa and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ont., have been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
They were arrested after police seized more than 50 electronic circuit boards supposedly designed to be remote detonators for explosive devices, as well as schematics, videos, terrorist literature and bomb-related documents.
Sher, a doctor of pathology who once danced and sang on the Canadian Idol program, made a brief appearance Friday by video link from an Ottawa jail. He is to appear again next Thursday to set a date for a bail hearing that could last up to three days.
Three other men, all believed to be living abroad, have been named as unindicted co-conspirators.
Police claim the plot stretches from Ottawa to Afghanistan, Dubai, Iran and Pakistan.
But there has been no official word on the alleged targets — or even if things had advanced to that stage.
Authorities said they made arrests when they did to prevent the suspects from sending money to counterparts to buy weapons that would be used against coalition forces in Afghanistan.