An appeal court in Ontario has upheld the decision to allow a man who tried to kill Canadian soldiers attend Mohawk College unsupervised.

The Ontario Review Board says it considered all the factors it needed to when it allowed Ayanle Hassan Ali to start studying at the public college in Hamilton.

The panel also called it “not unreasonable” to deny the prosecution’s request to ban Ali from contacting military personnel. Ali is only banned from active military facilities.

In 2016, Ali attacked soldiers at a military recruiting centre in North York, stabbing one before being restrained.

In 2018, the Ontario review board granted Ali, who is schizophrenic and holds radical Islamic beliefs, the right to attend classes at Mohawk.

Ali is still being held in a secure hospital.

Ali, who was sentenced for attempted murder and assault with a weapon, was found not criminally responsible last year as the judge believed that his radical Islamic beliefs were caused by his mental illness, and his actions should not be considered terrorism.

Prosecutors also disagree with this finding, arguing that his attempt on the life of multiple Canadian soldiers should be considered terrorism and he should be put on trial again.

The appeal’s court in their decision found that allowing Ali to attend classes at Mohawk, under certain conditions “reflected its [the court’s] concern for public safety but balanced with the need to facilitate Mr. Ali’s reintegration into society.” 

His doctor at the time believed Ali had the “potential to act out on political, or radical ideas.” The Crown argued that the original ruling put too much emphasis on Ali’s reintegration and not enough emphasis on public safety, this argument was again rejected by the Ontario Review Board this month.

Mohawk College says it has heard from many concerned parents and students about the possibility of having Ali on campus. When asked, many students displayed the same anguish and outrage that the college is hearing.

Two attempts by the Crown to block Ali’s attendance at Mohawk have failed to convince the judges of the validity of these concerns.

As it stands now, Ali will have permission to attend Mohawk unaccompanied this fall.

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