Defence wants 7-year term for man guilty in terror plot

A Toronto man who admitted he procured weapons, arranged false travel documents and tried to recruit extremists for a domestic terrorist group that planned bloody attacks on Canadian targets deserves a seven-year prison term, a judge heard Wednesday.

BRAMPTON, Ont. — A Toronto man who admitted he procured weapons, arranged false travel documents and tried to recruit extremists for a domestic terrorist group that planned bloody attacks on Canadian targets deserves a seven-year prison term, a judge heard Wednesday.

In an agreed statement of facts, the Crown told court how Ali Dirie, who had pleaded guilty Monday, was close to the alleged co-leader of the so-called Toronto 18 and continued his role in the conspiracy even while incarcerated.

“In Canada, we make change by ballot, not by bullet,” Crown lawyer Clyde Bond told Ontario Superior Court.

According to the statement of facts, Dirie knew the group followed an “extremist interpretation of Islam” and intended to commit terrorist acts. Those acts were for a religious purpose and meant to “intimidate the public,” Bond said.

Justice Bruce Durno convicted Dirie, 26, of one count of taking part in and helping a terrorist group. That makes Dirie the third person now convicted in the plot to bomb Canadian targets such as RCMP headquarters and nuclear facilities, attack Parliament and take hostages.

The Crown stayed a second charge of committing an offence for the group — dubbed the Toronto 18 because of the number of people arrested in the summer of 2006 in the anti-terrorism sweep.

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