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article imageMan convicted in Toronto 18 terror plot reported killed in Syria

By Arthur Weinreb     Sep 26, 2013 in World
Ali Mohamed Dirie, who was sentenced to seven years in jail for his role in the Toronto 18 plot, reportedly went to Syria after his release and was killed fighting for the rebels.
News of Dirie's death was provided to the Toronto Star by a government source. Dirie's demise was also confirmed by Mubin Shaikh, an informant for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Shaikh said Dirie was killed earlier this month and his death was announced by his family at a Toronto mosque.
Seventeen of the 18 members involved in the plot were arrested on June 2, 2006. Various plots were being planned including opening fire in a public place and using a truck bomb to blow up a building. The Toronto Stock Exchange, CSIS headquarters and the CN Tower were discussed as possible targets to bomb.
Members of a sub-group were planning, or at least thinking about, storming the Parliament Buildings and beheading Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Dirie was arrested in August 2005 after he was caught at the Canada/U.S. border attempting to smuggle hand guns into Canada.
Of the 18 adults and youths charged in the plot, seven pleaded guilty while four others were convicted at trial. Charges against the remaining seven were either withdrawn by the Crown or stayed.
Dirie pleaded guilty on Sept. 21, 2009 to participating in a terrorist group and was sentenced to seven years in prison. But he was given five years credit for time served and was released in October 2011.
The month after he was sentenced, a diplomatic cable, written by the United States and later released by Wikileaks, highlighted the light sentences given to Dirie and others by Canadian courts after convictions for terrorism offences.
It was reported that while in jail, Dirie was still attempting to obtain weapons. He tried to recruit other inmates to terrorism and received books and CD's, one showing a clip of Osama bin Laden calling for more terrorist attacks.
A year before his release, Dirie was denied parole by the National Parole Board. The board found he continued a pattern of violent behaviour and posed a danger to others. Of the decision, Dirie said, "At the end of the day, what I'm trying to say is that I'll be out in a year."
In 2012, Dirie left Canada for Syria. It is believed he used a false passport to travel.
Dirie is one of dozens of Canadians who have gone to Syria to take part in the fighting.
The exact details of how the 29-year-old died remain unknown at this time.
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