A Quebec man who was found guilty in June of attempting to leave Canada to join the terrorist group ISIS will learn his fate later today.
Ismael Habib, 29, is the first adult to be tried on charges of attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity — a section of the Anti-terrorism Act enacted by Stephen Harper’s government in 2013.
Habib is facing up to 10 years in prison. Quebec Court Judge Serge Délisle is expected to announce his decision this afternoon.
The crown has said it wanted a nine-year sentence, justified by the fact Habib buys into the ideology of the Islamic State and shows no remorse.
But defence lawyer Charles Montpetit said there’s no proof his client buys into radicalism completely or that he’s a danger to the public.
He proposed a sentence of six years and six months for the charges.
A videotaped confession, a history of deceit
During the trial, it was revealed that Habib told an undercover RCMP officer posing as a crime boss peddling fake passports that it was his “duty” to fight jihad alongside ISIS in Syria.
Unbeknownst to Habib, his confession was videotaped, and the Crown, led by federal prosecutor Lyne Décarie, entered that video as evidence to bolster its arguments.
During Habib’s testimony in his own defence, he told the court he wanted to go overseas to rejoin his wife and children, who had been living abroad without him.
He testified he confessed to wanting to fight with ISIS because he desperately wanted the undercover officer to give him a passport — and he thought he was telling the officer what he wanted to hear.
But the judge rejected Habib’s version of the facts, saying he had a history of deception and pointing out that Habib had been looking for girlfriends online and eventually moved in with a woman in Gatineau, Que.
On Tuesday, Habib was handed a nine-month jail sentence for threatening and harassing his former girlfriend in a case unrelated to the…