Two Canada terror suspects plotted France attack: report

5th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two men, who are suing Canada for millions of dollars alleging they were falsely linked to terror schemes, plotted in 2000 to blow up a plane headed to France, according to a classified document published in a newspaper here Friday.

La Presse said it had obtained a transcript of a 2000 conversation between the two Montreal men captured by Canadian intelligence services.

Adil Charkaoui, originally from Morocco, and Abousfian Abdelrazik, who is of Sudanese origin, had allegedly planned to blow up a plane, possibly an Air France flight, between Montreal and Paris.

"And if we left from here to go, for example, to France. It would a long trip. We could both register the same day and board separately. There would be two in the front, two (inaudible on the transcript) and two behind. Six in total," Charkaoui told Abdelrazik according to the "secret" document.

Abdelrazik said the plan was too dangerous.

But Charkaoui replied that he had some kind of pen-shaped device, saying, "Throw that into a plane and the plane will explode."

Charkaoui had been suspected of being a sleeper agent for the Al-Qaeda network, and was arrested in May 2003. He spent 21 months in prison, held under a special security certificate.

It is a controversial legal means under which a foreigner deemed to pose a risk to Canadian national security can be held without trial and then expelled.

Charkaoui was never formally charged and has called for $25 million in compensation from the government.

Abdelrazik is believed to have trained in Al-Qaeda camps in the mid-1990s, and thought to have helped convicted terrorist Ahmed Ressam, who was sentenced in the United States for trying to blow up Los Angeles airport in late 1999.

Abdelrazik, 49, was arrested in 2003 by the Sudanese authorities and spent a year in prison in his native country. After his release he was unable to travel back to Canada as his name had been added to a UN list of terror suspects.

He spent a year hunkered down in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, as Canada refused to issue him a new passport because he was on the UN blacklist.

The courts finally overturned the government's refusal, and Abdelrazik is campaigning to have his name removed from the list and win $27 million in damages from the Canadian government.

Abdelrazik's lawyer, Khalid Elgazzar, told AFP that his client was "disappointed" by the leak of the document -- which was edited in 2004 by the intelligence services.

It "seemed to be an attempt to drain Mr. Abdelrazik's efforts to restore his reputation with the UN, he added.

© 2011 AFP

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