NPost… Two Canadians facing extradition to the United States for their alleged involvement in a radical Islamic group crossed the Windsor-Detroit border a total of 47 times this year, and both have been stopped by U.S. officials at the border in the past, according to a newly released federal document obtained by the National Post.
The Attorney-General’s application record for provisional arrest, which includes an affidavit by an RCMP Immigration Task Force officer as well as U.S. Department of Justice documents, provides insight into the alleged activities of Yassir Ali Kahn, 30, and Mohammad Al-Sahli, 33, who face U.S. charges of conspiracy to commit federal crimes in connection with a Detroitbased radical Sunni group.
Mr. Al-Sahli of Lebanon and Mr. Kahn of Pakistan last crossed the border on Oct. 14 and Oct. 19 respectively, roughly two weeks prior to their arrests in Windsor on Oct. 31, according to U. S Department of Justice documents in the file.
One U.S. document says that in 2004 Mr. Kahn, who reportedly crossed the border 30 times this year, was “interviewed at the port for having suspicious literature in his conveyance.” A similar document for Mr. Al-Sahli says he was issued a “penalty for undervaluation of electronic appliance” on June 6, 2006.
Mr. Al-Sahli, who the record says “was charged with or convicted of driving a commercial vehicle with a defect” in January 2009, and Mr. Kahn are accused of selling goods stolen from interstate shipments, including 82 laptops since 2007.
According to the record, U.S. authorities believe that “many of the individuals involved in this stolen property conspiracy were convicted felons who were armed and engaged in acts of violence including the beating of children, assaulting police officers, advocating the murder of U.S. government officials, threatening to detonate bombs, and training in martial arts, use of firearms and sword fighting.”
The two men, who lived around the corner from one another in Windsor, made headlines last week when news broke that the FBI had laid charges against 11 members of the group, including Mr. Kahn, Mr. Al-Sahli and the leader’s son, Mujahid Carswell. The three men were considered fugitives, but it was not long before Mr. Carswell, an American, was arrested by Canadian authorities in Windsor and deported to the United States. AU. S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson said Mr. Carswell crossed the border several times each week, and had been questioned by authorities about a relative believed to have been involved in smuggling narcotics.
In his affidavit, Constable Tome Delov of the RCMP’s Immigration Task Force said that because of Mr. Carswell’s high-profile Oct. 29 arrest, Mr. Kahn and Mr. Al-Sahli should be considered flight risks. “The prosecutor and the FBI remain concerned that these two persons will flee now that attention is being drawn to them,” he said.
Meantime, a U.S. document said Mr. Kahn, who holds a Michigan driver’s licence and a U.S. social security number, was “possibly armed and dangerous.” An RCMP spokesperson confirmed that its Immigration Task Force and its Ontario Integrated National Security Enforcement Team were involved in the application for the provisional warrant, but said officers were not involved in the FBI-led investigation prior to the arrests.
Mr. Al-Sahli and Mr. Kahn are scheduled to appear in a Windsor court for a bail hearing tomorrow. Patrick Ducharme, lawyer for the accused, said his clients are currently in the Windsor Jail and are “doing just fine.” Mr. Ducharme said he will argue for his clients’ release on bail, and said he does not expect the extradition hearing to occur for months.
Peter Campbell, a Crown attorney on the case, said he is reviewing defence materials and said “the documents speak for themselves.”
Mr. Al-Sahli’s family would not provide comment, and Mr. Kahn’s family did not respond to requests for an interview. The Windsor Mosque, which Mr. Al-Sahli and Mr. Kahn attended, also declined to comment.