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Landmark Terror Trial Begins

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posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 04:44 PM

OTTAWA, June 23 (UPI) -- Canada's capital was under heavy security Monday as the trial for the first Canadian charged with terrorist activities began.

Four armored vehicles delivered Mohammed Momin Khawaja, 29, to the court, where masked tactical officers sat in the courtroom's front seats, the Ottawa Sun reported.

Khawaja was arrested in March 2004 on charges stemming from an alleged terror cell in Britain, the Globe and Mail reported. The software designer faces seven charges related to allegedly making fertilizer bombs and keeping three rifles under his bed in his parents' home, the report said.

The five British men were convicted and sentenced to life-in-prison and some of the testimony about Khawaja's alleged involvement is likely to become part of the Canadian trial.

This is a big test for Canada's anti-terror laws. The Crown says they have a ton of evidence and lots of witnesses, including the fiance of the accused. The trial is supposed to last all summer and maybe longer.

Security is very tight. Snipers on the roofs and police patrolling the courtroom. I'm wondering if they think someone will try to break him out or try to kill him? I'm not sure, maybe both.

An internal court memo circulated last week said, "During court sessions, if the officer attending the accused rises and leaves with the prisoner this should be your cue you need to evacuate the courtroom."

Apparently, he was going to use the Canadian government's own courier service to mail electronic detonators to Britain. There they would have been used to blow up shopping centers, clubs, shops with massive fertilizer bombs. He had a job as a computer tech at the Foreign Affairs office.

Ooops, Foreign Affairs. Wasn't Bernier Foreign Affairs minister? First Bernier misplaces sensitive documents now this; both linked to the Foreign Affairs office. Quite a coincidence, I think.

Personally, I think they guy is guilty all but we'll have to wait and see. I am going to pull up a seat and follow this one.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by TheComte]

[edit on 23-6-2008 by TheComte]


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