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Alleged Canadian ISIS recruiter Awso Peshdary to plead guilty: court documents

Alleged Canadian ISIS recruiter Awso Peshdary has agreed to plead guilty to all charges, according to court documents circulated Tuesday by federal prosecutors.

The Ottawa terror suspect has asked to appear in the Ontario court on Thursday to change his pleas to guilty and proceed directly to sentencing.

Peshdary “wishes to resume proceedings in this court for the purpose of changing his pleas on all counts to pleas of guilty,” his lawyer Solomon Friedman wrote in the application, a copy of which was shared with Global News.

Friedman declined to comment.

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Arrested by the RCMP’s national security unit in 2015, Peshdary has been charged with conspiring with Canadian ISIS members John Maguire and Khadar Khalid.

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Both Maguire and Khalid joined ISIS in Syria around 2012 and are wanted, but are believed to have been killed. Peshdary was accused of financing their travel.

The charges followed an “extensive and complex” RCMP investigation called Project Servant and were the first in Canada related to an ISIS facilitation network.

“Peshdary provided financial support to facilitate the travel to ISIS. And the others travelled abroad to become members of ISIS,” the RCMP said following his arrest.

But the case moved at a slow pace, partly due to arguments over whether Peshdary should have access to details of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s investigation.

Canadian ISIS recruit John Maguire is believed dead.


Canadian ISIS recruit John Maguire is believed dead.


RCMP

A “spin-off” of the investigation resulted in the arrests of three other Ottawa men in January: twins Ashton and Carlos Larmond, and Suliman Mohamed.

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An Iraq-born former big box store employee, Peshdary was a student activist at Algonquin College. He was arrested for terrorism in 2010 but released.

Dozens of Canadians travelled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. A handful that survived were captured by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.

The government recently agreed to repatriate Canadian women who were captured during the fight against ISIS and held in Syria, along with their children.

The Federal Court also ordered the government to bring back four men with Canadian citizenship who are being held by Kurdish fighters, but Ottawa has appealed the ruling.

Stewart.Bell@globalnews.ca

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