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Threat to Canada's security

A British Columbia man's Facebook posts allegedly threatening violence in support of the Islamic State group provide enough evidence to suggest he poses a security risk to Canada and should be deported, an official for the Canada Border Services Agency says.

Othman Hamdan's lawyer has argued his client's online views amounted to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the charter.

Randal Hyland, a hearings officer for the border services agency, told an admissibility hearing of the Immigration and Refugee Board on Monday that Hamdan's praise and encouragement of martyrdom and so-called lone-wolf terrorist attacks mean he could incite others to commit such offences.

The Jordanian national came to Canada in 2002 after living in the United States. He was arrested at his home in Fort St. John, B.C., in 2015 and charged with multiple terrorism offences related to 85 Facebook posts.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Hamdan last September citing insufficient evidence, but immigration authorities arrested him and have determined at 11 detention review hearings that he poses a threat to the public.

Hyland said Hamdan's violent mindset extended beyond his views on Facebook starting in 2014, adding he lashed out at the social media giant in a letter, saying its employees would be harmed because his accounts were deleted.

He said Hamdan also told a cell mate he would attack RCMP personnel and bomb the force's headquarters in Surrey, B.C., after officers translated his posts, which were in Arabic and English.

In May, an RCMP officer told Hamdam's hearing about two translated Arabic posts in which Hamdan discussed infrastructure in Canada, including a dam in Revelstoke, B.C., and a bridge near Nipigon, Ont., suggesting they were weak targets.

Hyland, who made submissions on behalf of Public Safety Canada, said that despite his acquittal, Hamdan's threats of violence should be taken seriously.



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