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RCMP takes three years to charge man who left Canada to join ISIS

Despite returning to Canada in 2014, an investigation was not opened until 2016.

Pamir Hakimzadah, 29, of Toronto, pleaded guilty to one count of leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.

In 2014 Hakimzadah flew to Istanbul, Turkey, from Toronto. Several days later Turkish counter-terrorism police arrested him after he was reported by his taxi driver.

Turkish authorities deported him to Canada for attempting to join ISIS.

When he returned to Canada after failing to join ISIS, Hakimzadah admitted he had gone to Turkey to “fight for Allah.”

Despite returning to Canada in 2014, an investigation was not opened until 2016 when he was charged with assault and uttering threats stemming from an unrelated incident.

Last week, the former Ryerson University engineering student was finally charged — three years after the fact. He now faces up to ten years in prison.

In an agreed statement of facts, Hakimzadah admitted that he flew to Turkey with the intention of joining ISIS and fighting on their behalf.

“The purpose of Pamir’s trip was to enter Syria via Turkey. There he intended to join a terrorist group known as ISIS or Daesh,” the Crown lawyer told the court on February 1.

“He spoke either in favour of or in defence of ISIS. He viewed online ISIS content such as videos and posts.”

“He also viewed a website that provided instructions on how to get into Syria.”

Public Safety Canada guesses “about 60” people who had gone abroad to fight for ISIS have since returned to Canada, according to Public Safety Canada.

One of these people, Rehab Dughmosh, went on to launch her own ISIS-inspired attack on Canadian soil.

Like Hakimzadah, Dughmosh was ignored by RCMP until long after she was deported by Turkish Authorities.

Hakimzadah returns to court for sentencing on February 26.

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