Two Canadians Added to Most-Wanted U.S. Terror List
MONTREAL—The United States has quietly added two Canadians fighting in Syria to its most-wanted terror list, saying the individuals pose a serious risk of committing acts of terrorism that could threaten America’s security, citizens or economy.
Farah Mohamed Shirdon, an Albertan of Somali heritage, is alleged to be a recruiter and fundraiser for Daesh, also known ISIS and ISIL. Quebecker Tarek Sakr is identified as having conducted sniper training for the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusrah Front.
The decision was made last week and published Wednesday in an official register of U.S. government regulations.
The two have been added to the U.S. State Department’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists along with the likes of Hamza bin Laden, son of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, members of a Daesh execution cell led by Jihadi John, the deceased British citizen Mohamed Emwazi, and Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French citizen who was arrested last year for his role in the November 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
“Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Sakr and Shirdon are actively engaged in terrorism,” reads the April 13 State Department communiqué.
Specially Designated Terrorists are prohibited from accessing the U.S. financial system and bars U.S. citizens from assisting them or sending money.
It has been applied sparingly in the past to other Canadians, including Hassan El-Hajj Hassan, a Lebanese-Canadian dual citizen alleged to have participated a 2012 bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists; and Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was sanctioned in 2006 for his alleged ties to Al Qaeda.
The Toronto-born Shirdon, 24, was charged in absentia by the RCMP in September 2015 with six terrorism charges, including participating in a terrorist group, encouraging people to travel to Syria and send money to Daesh and making terrorist threats in an April 2014 propaganda video and in a September 2014 interview with Vice Media.
The Mounties said at the time that Shirdon left Canada on March 14, 2014 for Syria and that reports he had been killed in 2014 were not true. The Americans say he was in Raqqa, the terror group’s Syrian base, in November 2015.
Read more: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/22/two-canadians-added-to-most-wanted-us-terror-list.html