Pakistani accused in US consulate plot held in Canada

Published March 12, 2015
Malik, a 33-year-old who came to Canada as a student in 2004 and became a permanent resident in 2009, was arrested Monday.  — Reuters/file
Malik, a 33-year-old who came to Canada as a student in 2004 and became a permanent resident in 2009, was arrested Monday. — Reuters/file

TORONTO: Canadian immigration officials have arrested a Pakistani man who they say was plotting to attack the US consulate and other buildings in Toronto's financial district.

At a hearing Wednesday, Canadian authorities said Jahanzab Malik, a self-proclaimed supporter of the Islamic State and al Qaeda who received weapons training in Libya, told an undercover police officer about his plans involving remote control explosives.

Malik, a 33-year-old who came to Canada as a student in 2004 and became a permanent resident in 2009, was arrested Monday.

The Canadian government is looking to deport him.

It wasn't clear why he hasn't been charged with any crimes.

He was ordered kept in custody on Wednesday pending deportation.

In a summary of Wednesday's hearing provided by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, government lawyers said Malik attempted to radicalise an undercover officer he had befriended by showing him video's apparently of Islamic State beheadings.

Prosecutors said Malik told the officer that he was a “personal friend” of radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in 2011, but whose words remain influential in cyberspace.

Malik, who is detained at an Ontario jail, appeared at his detention review via video conference. He will appear for another detention hearing on Monday.

A lawyer for Malik didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney called him a “supporter of the Islamic State” who was “allegedly planning a terrorist attack in Canada” and thanked authorities for their work.

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