Terrorism charges were laid today in absentia by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) in Alberta as part of a national security criminal investigation named Project STACCATO. Farah Mohamed SHIRDON, 22 years old from Calgary, was charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code of Canada:
- Leave Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group. (Sec 83.181)
- Participation in the activity of a terrorist group. (Sec 83.18(1)– Enhancing the ability of ISIS to facilitate or commit terrorist activity.)
- Instructing a person to carrying out terrorist activity for the benefit of ISIS. (Section 83.21(1) – relating to his encouragement of others to travel to Syria/Iraq and to send money to ISIS)
- Instructing a person to carrying out terrorist activity for the benefit of ISIS. (Section 83.22 – relating to his encouragement of others to commit violence in support of ISIS)
- Commission of an indictable offence for a terrorist group. (Sec 83.2) – Relating to the utterance of threats towards Canada and the United States made on or about April 13, 2014 on an ISIS released video.)
- Commission of an indictable offence for a terrorist group. (Sec 83.2) – Relating to the utterance of threats made on or about September 23, 2014 during an interview with Vice Media.)
A Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued and a Red Notice will be issued shortly via INTERPOL. The RCMP continues to work actively with its domestic and international partners to bring him back to Canada where he will be arrested and prosecuted.
The investigation determined that SHIRDON left Canada on March 14, 2014 to allegedly join and fight with the Islamic State in Syria. While there have been reports in 2014 indicating that SHIRDON was killed in Syria, these reports were proven not to be true.
"Our investigation showed that SHIRDON served in a combat role and performed other functions for ISIS such as recruiting, fundraising, encouraging others to commit violence, and spreading propaganda – all designed to enhance the activities of the ISIS", says Assistant Commissioner Marlin DeGrand, officer in charge of the RCMP's Criminal Operations in Alberta.
"These charges not only demonstrate that the RCMP is taking active measures to investigate and pursue criminal charges against high risk travelers, but also serve as a powerful deterrent message to individuals seeking to travel abroad for terrorist purposes and those already engaged in such activity" says Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, officer in charge of the RCMP's Federal Policing Operations.
As Canada's national police force, the RCMP leads 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 or by contacting the police in their community.