Khadar Khalib and Awso Peshdary have been charged in Ottawa, accused of being members of an ISIS cell in Canada.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 2 Are Accused Are Linked to Other Canadian Terrorists Ashton & Carlos Lamond
The Ottawa Sun reports that Khalib, 23, and Peshdary, 25, are linked to Ashton and Carlos Lamond. Those two were charged on January 9 of plotting a terror attack in Canada. Also charged in that case was 21-year-old Ottawa man Suliman Mohamed.
2. Khalib Is in Syria
According to Canadian police, Khalib and Peshdary had been plotting together since March 2014, right up until their arrest. Khalib is accused of leaving Canada, through Toronto, in March 2014, to work with a terror network in Syria and Iraq. Khalib is charged in the case in absentia. Police officials told the media that they believe Peshdary provided funding for Khalib and previously named terrorist, John Maguire, in order for them to travel to Syria. Maguire was previously reported to have been killed, that claim was rejected by Canadian anti-terror cops.
3. Peshdary Was Arrested in 2010 But Was Released Without Charge
In 2010, Peshdary was arrested but not charged as part of an anti-terror operation carried out by police named Project Samossa. In that operation, Hiva Alizadeh, 30, Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, were all arrested. They were accused of building IEDs and raising funds for terror groups. Here you can watch Peshdary speak about his release after the 2010 arrest:
Peshdary’s father told Ottawa Citizen reporter Shaamini Yogaretnam that his son is “good” and “doesn’t have a relationship with any organization.” Peshdary is of Kurdish origin and had been banned from several mosques due to his radicalization. He was a member of the Algonquin College Muslim Students Association.
4. One of Khalib’s Alleged Proteges Was Also Arrested
Another man is charged in the case, Abdul Milton. He’s believed to have been a protege of Khalib.
5. The Arrests Came as the World Is in Shock at the Brutal Execution of Muath al-Kasasbeh
The arrests come on the same day that ISIS published a video showing the execution of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kasasbeh. The pilot has been held since December 2014 when his jet was shot down over ISIS controlled territory in Syria. The government in Jordan were negotiating for his release in exchange for a jailed would-be suicide bomber in their country. Al-Kasasbeh was burned alive by the terror group on January 3.