The Liberal government’s plan to “deradicalize” convicted ISIS members and other terrorists is failing.
According to Parole Board of Canada documents obtained by Global News, four out of the five convicted terrorists released from prison in 2019 have not changed their beliefs and still pose public safety risks.
The terror convicts still believed to be radical are: Pamir Hakimzadah, who travelled to Turkey to join ISIS, Carlos Larmond who was part of an ISIS cell in Ottawa and his associate Suliman Idris Mohamed, and Kevin Omar Mohammed, who joined al-Qaeda in 2014.
Since 2016, terrorists have faced lax sentences of seven years or less according to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. These sentences are even shorter when taking into account credit for time in custody and other factors.
For example, Hakimzadah was convicted of leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group on Feb 28, 2019, but was only sentenced to six months in prison and released on June 28, 2019.
In the case of Carlos Larmond, the parole board labelled him a “high risk to public safety” yet released him anyway. While in prison Larmond even attempted to radicalize other inmates and threatened authority figures.
“You have not shown significant indications of change since incarceration, with you attempting to radicalize others and threatening authority figures,” said a parole board member.
“Had you followed through with these plans, you would likely have been directly or indirectly involved in the killing and injuring of many people.”
Larmond’s associate, Suliman Idris Mohamed, was sentenced in 2016 for conspiring to participate in the activities of a terrorist group but was out on statutory release only three years later in 2019, despite having received a seven year sentence.
Upon Mohamed’s release, parole board members expressed doubt that he had fully deradicalized.
“The Board feels that although you have made some gains we are not completely satisfied that you have completely changed your pattern of thinking in relation to extremist ideology,” said a report on Mohamed.
Al-Qaeda terrorist Kevin Omar Mohammed was granted statutory release on Mar. 1, 2019, despite concerns that he “may continue to commit terrorist related offences.”
The parole board also ruled that Misbahuddin Ahmed, an al-Qaeda terrorist who plotted attacks on Canadian military facilities, did “not present an undue risk to society.”
Despite being sentenced to serve 12 years in 2014, he was released on day parole in 2017 and on full parole by 2019.
The outcomes of the sentences do not match the federal government’s deradicalization plans. As reported on by True North founder Candice Malcolm in the Toronto Sun, Trudeau’s approach to returning ISIS fighters includes helping “them let go of that terrorist ideology.”
“We know that actually someone who has engaged and turned away from that hateful ideology can be an extraordinarily powerful voice for preventing radicalization in future generations and younger people within the community,” said Trudeau in a year-end interview with CTV.