Canadian terror suspect denied bail

Faruq Khalil Muhammad `Isa is accused of conspiring to kill Americans.

Edmonton: A Canadian man accused of conspiring to kill Americans was denied bail on Friday while he fights extradition to the United States.

Alberta judge Eric Macklin said the crimes Faruq Khalil Muhammad `Isa, a Canadian citizen and Iraqi national, is accused of are extremely serious and it`s essential he remain in custody.

Muhammad `Isa, 38, has been charged in the US with supporting a multinational terrorist network that took part in a suicide bombing that killed five soldiers in Iraq. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

He was arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, last month on a US warrant after a joint investigation by the FBI`s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Tunisian authorities.

US officials said Muhammad `Isa, also known as Sayfildin Tahir Sharif, was a long-distance conspirator and booster for Tunisian jihadists in Iraq, urging them in a series of messages to kill "dog Americans" in suicide bombings.

Federal prosecutors in New York allege that though Muhammad `Isa never left Canada, he was a key part of a terror network involved in attacks in Iraq in 2009.

Using wiretaps and other methods, investigators linked Muhammad `Isa to a terror network they say used a suicide bomber to detonate an explosives-laden truck outside the gate of the US base in Mosul on April 10, 2009, that killed the five soldiers.

The complaint says the group also staged a suicide bombing on an Iraqi police station on March 31, 2009, killing seven people.

The day after the soldiers were killed, Muhammad `Isa was captured on tape discussing the attack with one his Iraqi-based cohorts, the complaint says.

The complaint says Muhammad `Isa advised one would-be suicide bomber in March 2009 to "keep reading the Quran and repeat the famous prayers on the way until you meet with God”. Tunisian authorities arrested the man when he tried to leave the country in April 2009.

At a bail hearing earlier this week, Muhammad `Isa`s wife, Cara Rain, told the judge she didn`t believe he was part of any terror attacks. She said he was a loving, playful man who had helped her raise her four children and brought order to her life.

Sharif`s lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, had been seeking USD 10,117 bail and stringent conditions similar to house arrest.

Federal prosecutor Jim Shaw has said he doesn`t expect the extradition hearing to begin before June and predicts it will be lengthy. Aloneissi has said his client wants to stay in Canada and fight the charges.

Bureau Report

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