TORONTO: 18-year-old Abdul Aziz Aldabaous arrested on terrorism-related peace bond
Friday, Sept. 18, 2015
TORONTO — An 18-year-old has been arrested in Toronto on a terrorism-related peace bond, the RCMP said Friday, as police are struggling to deal with youths authorities say are becoming radicalized into violent extremism.
Abdul Aziz Aldabaous was arrested on Thursday. The RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, supported by Toronto Police Service and Ontario Provincial Police, also searched an apartment in Scarborough.
Police can ask a judge for a peace bond if they believe someone is about to commit a crime. In most cases, instead of being charged with a terrorism offence, the suspect is released after agreeing to comply with conditions imposed by the courts.
“Police may pursue an application for an order (a recognizance) to keep the peace and be of good behaviour if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a person may commit a terrorism offence,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Julie Gagnon.
Police have been using peace bonds to stop Canadians from leaving to join extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. But the RCMP did not disclose whether that was what prompted the arrest of Aldabaous.
“Due to the fact that there is an ongoing criminal investigation, RCMP will not be commenting any further on this matter,” Staff Sgt. Gagnon said. “We encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report any information on terrorism or related suspicious activities.”
The family could not be reached for comment.
Since last year, counter-terrorism investigators have been focusing intensely on the growing number of “terrorist travelers” — Canadians they believe are preparing to join armed Islamist groups in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.
Increasingly, young girls are also becoming involved. Last year, the RCMP intercepted three Toronto-area girls, ages 15, 18, and 19, who left Canada to become brides of ISIL fighters. After their parents came forward, police tracked them to Cairo and had local authorities turn them back to Canada.
The government has committed to doing its part to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Syria and Iraq. Security officials are also concerned about the threat posed by those who may survive the conflict and return, as well as frustrated extremists unable to travel, such as the attackers who killed two Canadian Forces members in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu last October.