O Division RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team charges woman with leaving Canada in June 2019 to join a terrorist group

August 27, 2020
Toronto, Ontario

News release

Following a lengthy investigation, Haleema Mustafa was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) O Division Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (OINSET) on August 26, 2020. She has been charged with participation in activities of a terrorist group and leaving Canada to participate in activities of a terrorist group, contrary to sections 83.18 (1) and 83.181 of the Criminal Code.

Ikar Mao, a 22-year-old man from Guelph, Ontario, was charged in December 2019, by the RCMP OINSET with participation in activities of a terrorist group and leaving Canada to participate in activities of a terrorist group. These charges stem from RCMP allegations that Ikar Mao travelled to Turkey to join the terrorist group ISIS in June 2019. At the time of Ikar Mao's travel to Turkey, RCMP INSET believe he was accompanied by his wife, Haleema Mustafa, a 22-year-old from Markham, Ontario.

"Canadian Extremist Travellers (CETs) - those who hold Canadian citizenship, permanent residency or a valid visa for Canada, continue to present a significant concern to law enforcement and intelligence services, having travelled abroad to engage in terrorism-related activities. While the RCMP and partner agencies coordinate efforts to identify and prevent individuals from departing Canada for this purpose, we also assess and respond to the potential threats that these extremist-minded individuals pose domestically and investigate them accordingly. Appreciating we have a certain level of visibility on some of these individuals, we do rely on the public for support in identifying those who have intentions to either travel for a terrorist purpose or pose a more localized threat", said Superintendent Christopher deGale, the Officer in Charge of the RCMP O Division's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

RCMP OINSET, and its law enforcement and intelligence partners, are committed to investigating individuals who have either departed for the purpose of contributing to the activities of a terrorist group, or returned back to Canada after participating in the activities of a terrorist group. The primary objective of these investigations is to ensure public safety while deterring, preventing and/or disrupting others from engaging in similar criminal activity.

The RCMP would like to acknowledge the Canada Border Services Agency, York Regional Police, Guelph Police Service, Toronto Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada for their cooperation and collaboration during the course of the investigation.

To report non-immediate threat information related to national security, please contact the RCMP National Security Tip Line: 1-800-420-5805.

To report an immediate threat to national security, please call 911 or your local police department.

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Contact information

Sgt. Lucie Lapointe
RCMP O Division Media Relations
Cell phone: 289-971-7237

Twitter: @RCMPONT
Facebook: RCMP.Ontario
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Website: RCMP in Ontario
Email: media.relations.rcmp-Ontario-relations.medias.grc@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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