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Islamist who tried to join ISIS freed in Canada despite being a major “risk to society”

Pamir Hakimzadah was released on May 24, 2019 after serving six months in prison for travelling to Turkey in order to join ISIS.

A man who attempted to join ISIS in 2014 was released from prison in Ontario despite being deemed an “undue risk to society.” 

Pamir Hakimzadah was released on May 24 of this year after serving six months in prison for travelling to Turkey in order to join the extremist group ISIS. While in Turkey, Hakimzadah was apprehended by counter-terrorism officials and deported back to Canada.

Prosecutors sought a six-year sentence for his crimes. However, he was only ordered to serve six months in a federal prison after the judge took into account the time he spent in custody, adding up to a total of three years. 

It took nearly three years for Canadian authorities to charge and arrest Hakimzadah for leaving Canada to join ISIS. The charges were brought against him after he was involved in an unrelated assault incident. 

The former Ryerson University student was alleged to have openly spoken about his desire to join the terror group and claimed that “all non-Muslims should be killed.” 

“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,” claimed a Crown lawyer involved in the case. 

Despite having his parole denied, Hakimzada was released on probation under several conditions. While out of prison, the court has ordered Hakimzada to undergo psychotherapy, not possess a firearm or a passport and undergo “de-radicalization counselling.” 

Public Safety Canada believes that at least 180 people have travelled from Canada abroad in order to partake in terrorist activity. Out of those, 60 are believed to have already returned to the country. 

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