Mahmoud Jaballah is seeking to claim $34 million in damages from the federal government for him and his family as well as an additional $3.4 million in punitive damages. Jaballah’s lawsuit claims that the federal government repeatedly violated his human rights.
Mahmoud Jaballah and his family have a long history in Canada.
Mahmoud Jaballah has been in trouble with Canadian authorities since 1999, when he was first arrested through a national security certificate. The certificate is a legal tool that allows for evidence to be withheld from the accused and gives the government the right to deport the individual named.
Jaballah moved to Canada with his family in 1996 under false pretenses with forged Saudi Arabia passports. Jaballah spent time in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Azerbaijan before travelling to Toronto. He was granted refugee status by the Canadian government claiming the Egyptian government had persecuted him because of alleged ties to Al-Qaeda.
Al-Qaeda is an Islamist terror organization that was once led by Osama bin Laden, and is responsible for a number of terrorist attacks, including the deadly attacks in the US on September 11, 2001. They are a listed terrorist entity in Canada.
While in Egypt, Jaballah was accused of participating in the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the third president of Egypt and having participated in a Jihadi organization. He was arrested twice for these charges but found innocent of these claims both times.
He has been under investigation by CSIS since his arrival to Canada. The lawsuit statement of claim says that Jaballah has had his phone tapped and was interviewed by CSIS agents multiple times.
Between 2008 and 2016, Jaballah and his family lived under house arrest.
In 2006, Mahmoud Jaballah admitted he had once invited Ahmed “Al-Kanadi” Khadr to his Toronto home for tea once in 1998. Khadr was an alleged financier of Al-Qaeda and close associate of Osama bin Laden.
“Of course he came in with her and he drank tea or coffee. He stayed 15 minutes, then he left. I see him at mosque and I shake his hand. This is our culture, this is our religion,” said Jaballah about the incident.
The federal government has attempted to have Jaballah removed from the country for over a decade but to no avail, as the deportation orders have been overturned by the justice system each time citing a lack of evidence.
The first time he was detained on a security certificate was in 1999 and since then, the government has issued two more certificates in an attempt to remove Jaballah from the country.
Mahmoud Jaballah is not the only one in his family to have run-ins with the law.
Mr. Jaballah’s son, Al-Munzir Es-Sayyid, was also arrested in 2007 for gang related offences, including wielding a sawed off shotgun. Al-Munzir was arrested when he was 18 for leading a gang and committing several robberies on sex-workers.
According to the police, Al-Munzir’s gang used methods such as death threats, restraining people with duct tape and assault during their crimes. He received a 2.5 year prison sentence for these crimes which was further extended after three grams of heroin was found on his person while in jail.
After his conviction, the federal government has been seeking to strip him of his refugee status.
Mahmoud pleaded on his son’s behalf for federal authorities to allow him to remain in Canada, despite his family’s criminal past.
He was successfully deported in 2012 for being “a danger to the public”.
This isn’t the first time that an alleged member of Al-Qaeda has sued the Canadian government.
In 2017, Omar Khadr was awarded $10.5 million by the federal government for human rights abuses suffered at Guantanamo Bay despite being suspected to have caused the death of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer while he was fighting for the terrorist group.