Toronto 18 member receives 14 years

A member of the so-called Toronto 18 was handed a 14-year sentence Thursday for his role in a terrorist plot to wreak havoc on Canadian targets. Saad Khalid, 23, pleaded guilty in May to one count of participating in a terror plot with the intention of causing an explosion.

BRAMPTON, Ont. — A member of the so-called Toronto 18 was handed a 14-year sentence Thursday for his role in a terrorist plot to wreak havoc on Canadian targets.

Saad Khalid, 23, pleaded guilty in May to one count of participating in a terror plot with the intention of causing an explosion.

On Thursday, a judge sentenced Khalid to 14 years in prison but also granted him seven years credit for time already served.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno said that while he accepts Khalid is truly remorseful, terrorist offences are “the most vile form” of criminal activity.

Khalid was not the leader of the group, the judge said, but his degree of responsibility “remains fairly high.”

“This was not a spur of the moment offence,” Durno said. “Canadian society relies on balance and not bullets.”

Durno also ruled that parole eligibility would be up to the parole board.

Khalid, dressed in baggy jeans, a blazer and a button-up shirt, leaned forward and appeared to listen intently during the sentencing hearing.

He was arrested in June 2006 while unloading what he and his fellow alleged conspirators believed was at least two tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

Seven of the 18 people arrested that summer them have since had their charges dropped.

The defence had asked the Brampton, Ont., judge that Khalid be sentenced to 10 years and spend two more years behind bars.

The Crown called for an 18- to 20-year sentence for Khalid, with five to five-and-a-half years credit for time already served.

A youth was sentenced in May to two-and-a-half years after a judge found him guilty of helping and taking part in a terrorist organization, but with time already served factored in he was allowed to walk free.

Last month, Khalid told the court that he accepted responsibility for his role in the domestic terror plot to detonate bombs outside the Toronto Stock Exchange and CSIS headquarters, as well as an unnamed Ontario military base in 2006.

I was not motivated by a hate for Canada, Canadians, democracy, or Canadian values of freedom, civil liberties, and women’s rights,” Khalid read from a prepared speech.

I realize that this does not justify my actions in any way. But it is important to have my motive known so people understand that I am not a lunatic who is hell-bent on the destruction of Western Civilization.”

Khalid has been in custody for more than three years.

Defence lawyer Russell Silverstein had urged Durno to take into account what Khalid endured during three “horrific” weeks after his arrest.

Once he was locked up, Khalid was allegedly routinely strip-searched, woken up by guards every 20 minutes as they checked his cell, and kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, Silverstein had told the court.

Just Posted

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read