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Terror suspect in court to fight extradition

By: The Canadian Press

 | May 01, 2014 - 2:14 PM |
EDMONTON - A Canadian citizen fighting extradition to the United States on terrorism charges has taken his legal battle to Alberta's highest court.

A lawyer for Sayfildin Tahir Sharif (SAY'-fill-din TA'-here SHAW'-reef) is appearing before the Appeal Court in Edmonton today.

A lower court ruled in 2012 that there was enough evidence to extradite the Sharif to New York.

Last summer, the federal justice minister order his extradition.

Sharif is appealing both decisions.

He is accused of conspiracy to kill Americans and of supporting a terror group that took part in a suicide bombing in his native Iraq in 2009.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed when a truck filled with explosives was detonated at a military checkpoint.

Sharif, who also goes by the name Faruq Khalil Muhammad Isa, is an ethnic Kurd who was born in Iraq but moved to Toronto as a refugee in 1993. Four years later, he became a Canadian citizen.

In 2011, he was arrested at an Edmonton apartment, where he lived with his girlfriend and her children.

A Crown prosecutor had argued that intercepted phone and Internet conversations showed Sharif helped jihadists contact members of a terrorist network as they made their way from Tunisia to Iraq to make the attacks.

Sharif's lawyer, Bob Aloneissi, earlier told court that there is no clear evidence that proves Sharif helped a terrorist group or that he agreed to kill anyone. He argued the Crown's case was based on police interpretations of vague statements by Sharif that were translated from Arabic.

Sharif said the allegations against him came from people who were tortured by American investigators. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Adam Germain ruled Sharif's claims were heresay.

The judge called the recorded calls and emails "chilling."

Court heard about one email between Sharif and another terror suspect who was "preparing for a one-way journey to death." The pair discussed the number of virgins the man would get in heaven.

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