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Canada’s national security review agency examining case of New York bomb plotter

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawi’s arrest came after an FBI and RCMP investigation found he was communicating with ISIS co-conspirators to attack various sites in New York

A new Canadian security agency is investigating the government’s handling of terror convict Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy after receiving a complaint he’d been “entrapped” by Canadian and American authorities.

The review has been launched by the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA). The Kuwait-born El Bahnasawy lived in Canada until his 2016 arrest in New York City, where he was planning to commit terrorist acts on behalf of ISIS.

The complaint blames officials for exploiting underlying mental health issues.

“Both agencies knew of his mental health problem and so entrapped him online, taking advantage of his unstable mental health, while he was manic and on the waiting list for mental health treatment,” the complaint says.

El Bahnasawi’s arrest came after an FBI and RCMP investigation found he was communicating with ISIS co-conspirators to attack various sites in New York, including the city’s subway system. 

By the time of his arrest, authorities found he had purchased materials for use in an explosive device and had shipped them from Canada to the US.

“He planned to detonate bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and to shoot civilians at concert venues,” said US Attorney Geoffrey Berman.

“[He] plotted with Talha Haroon, a 20-year-old US citizen living in Pakistan and Russell Salic, a 38-year-old Philippines citizen and resident, to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan in 2016, all in the name of ISIS,” said the US Department of Justice. 

El Bahnasawy is appealing his 40-year sentence in the US.

As reported by True North’s Candice Malcolm, he developed radical “militant jihad” views while attending a Toronto-area Islamic school. 

After his arrest, El Bahnasawi’s parents claimed their son was “sick” and struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues. Despite claims that these issues played a role in El Bahnasawi’s activities, an American court found him mentally fit to stand trial. 

While on trial, El Bahnasawy was represented by lawyers who helped convicted terrorist Omar Khadr get out of the U.S. and back into Canada.

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