Ottawa, February 3, 2015 – Today, as part of an extensive national security criminal investigation named Project SERVANT, the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) in Ottawa arrested one individual and charged two others with terrorism offences under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Awso PESHDARY, 25 years old from Ottawa, was arrested and charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group (Sec. 83.18); and with facilitating an activity for a terrorist group (Sec. 83.19). He is currently in custody.
Today, the RCMP also laid terrorism charges in absentia against Khadar KHALIB, 23 years old, and John MAGUIRE, 24 years old, both from Ottawa. KHALIB was charged with leaving Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group (Sec. 83.181); and with counseling a person to participate in an activity of a terrorist group (Sec. 83.18). MAGUIRE was also charged with facilitating an activity for a terrorist group (Sec. 83.19). Charges were also laid for conspiring to participate or to contribute in an activity of a terrorist group (Sec. 465 (1)(c)) against all three.
While there have been recent reports saying that MAGUIRE was killed in Syria, the RCMP has not received conclusive evidence confirming that he is deceased.
As these two individuals remain at large, arrest warrants have been obtained and an Interpol Red Notice is being issued. The RCMP continues to work actively with its domestic and international partners to bring them back to Canada so they can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“We acknowledge the valuable contribution of our INSET partners, including the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ottawa Police Service, who played a significant role in this case. We also want to thank the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for their valuable contribution on this file,” said Chief Superintendent Jennifer Strachan, officer responsible for the RCMP’s Criminal Operations in Ontario.
“These charges speak to our ability to tackle a threat that is multifaceted and constantly evolving. Through ollaborative efforts with our partners, we were able to disrupt an organized network associated with ISIS. This network was involved in recruiting individuals for terrorism purposes and in sending them into Syria and Iraq for the benefit of this terrorist group,” stated Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, officer in charge of the RCMP’s Federal Policing Operations.
As Canada’s national police force, the RCMP is a lead participant in our country’s response to terrorist criminal activity and national security criminal investigations both at home and abroad. The RCMP encourages citizens to remain vigilant and to report any information on terrorism or related suspicious activities to the National Security Information Network at 1-800-420-5805 FREE or by contacting the police in their community.