Thursday, April 05, 2007

Khawaja to Face Terror Charges

The first person charged under Canada's Anti-terrorism Act will have to face seven counts alleging he participated in and helped an extremist organization in Britain, Canada's top court decided Thursday.

The Supreme Court of Canada didn't rule on the charges directly, but decided not to hear an appeal seeking to dismiss the charges against Ottawa software developer Mohammad Momin Khawaja. By declining to hear the case, the top court left a lower court ruling standing. That ruling left the seven charges in place. As usual, the Supreme Court did not explain why it chose to not hear the appeal.

Khawaja was arrested on March 29, 2004, under the then new Anti-terrorism Act. Last October, an Ontario Superior Court judge struck down part of the act as unconstitutional. The ruling said an element of the definition of "terrorist activity" violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But the judge did not quash the seven terrorist-related charges, so Khawaja's lawyer sought leave to appeal that ruling to the Supreme Court. Khawaja is currently in custody. (Source:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Iraqi, U.S. forces sweep through Diwaniya: DIWANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi and U.S. forces clashed with Shi'ite militia loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as they launched a major operation at dawn on Friday to return the volatile city of Diwaniya to government control. In Ramadi, west of Baghdad, a truck bomb killed at least 15 people and spewed chlorine gas into the air, Iraqi police Colonel Tareq al-Dulaimi said, in the latest in a string of attacks involving the poisonous chemical. Another police captain said five people were killed.

Sudan: Landmines continue to plague the south
Afghanistan: Suicide bomber near parliament kills 6
Gaza: Hamas, Fatah militants clash

+ My Photo-Op with Bashar al-Assad: Unlike St. Paul, I did not experience a blinding conversion on my journey to Damascus. That's hard to come by in a tour bus full of American foreign news editors. But I did have a minor revelation: Damascus, that ancient capital, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth, is really close to Beirut, less than 55 miles away.


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