Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Egyptian Mohamed Mahjoub Loses Long Legal Fight against Terrorist Branding

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Egyptian Mohamed Mahjoub Loses Long Legal Fight against Terrorist Branding

Article excerpt

Mahjoub loses fight against terrorist branding


TORONTO - An Egyptian man branded as a threat to Canada's national security has failed in what could prove to be his final attempt at lifting the terrorist designation that has hung over him for the past 15 years.

In a decision that upholds in glowing terms earlier court rulings, the Federal Court of Appeal rejected a concerted challenge from Mohamed Mahjoub to the government's case against him.

The unanimous decision leaves Mahjoub, 56, of Toronto, who has always denied terrorism ties or associating with known terrorists after coming to Canada, with little chance of now escaping a designation that has haunted him since 2000.

"Terrorist organizations do not issue membership cards or keep membership lists," the Federal Court of Appeal said in a lengthy decision that runs to 356 paragraphs.

"(But) there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Mahjoub was a member of two terrorist organizations and that, by maintaining contact in Canada with other terrorists, he was a danger to the security of Canada."

Among other things, the Appeal Court noted the father of three once held a senior position at a farm in Sudan owned by al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden. Part of the farm, according to security sources, was used for terrorist training in weapons and explosives. Mahjoub lied about his associates after coming to Canada, the court said.

Mahjoub came to this country in December 1995 and claimed refugee status, which was granted within a year. However, in 2000, he was slapped with a national security certificate on the grounds that he had been a senior member of two Egyptian terror groups and was arrested pending deportation. Part of the intelligence against him was kept secret.

Because he faces a risk of torture if returned to Egypt, he has remained in Canada, essentially in a state of limbo. He was released from detention in 2009 under strict conditions, eased substantially since then, and which were upheld earlier this month.

Mahjoub's appeal consolidated challenges to three Federal Court judgments: that the security-threat designation was reasonable, the process he faced had been fair, and violations of his solicitor-client privilege did not warrant throwing out the case against him. …

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