Ontario man pleads guilty to trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria

Pamir Hakimzadah admitted he left Canada to contribute ‘to the fight for Allah,’ but was caught beforehand

A 29-year-old Ontario man admitted Friday that he left Canada four years ago to try to join Islamic State militants in Syria after harbouring increasingly radical beliefs.

Pamir Hakimzadah, who is from Toronto, pleaded guilty to one count of leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist activity.

Hakimzadah left Toronto on Oct. 22, 2014 and flew to Istanbul where he tried to find a way into Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, said Crown lawyer Christopher Walsh, who was reading from an agreed statement of facts.

“The purpose of Pamir’s trip was to enter Syria via Turkey,” Walsh said. “There he intended to join a terrorist group known as ISIS or Daesh.”

The trip took place as Hakimzadah ”exhibited increasingly radical Islamic beliefs,” Walsh said.

READ MORE: B.C. man acquitted of terror charges sues provincial, federal governments

“He spoke either in favour or in defence of ISIS,” the prosecutor said. ”He viewed online ISIS content such as videos and posts. He also viewed a website that provided instructions on how to get into Syria.”

Four days after he arrived in Turkey, a taxi driver suspected Hakimzadah was attempting to join the terrorist group and turned him in to police, court heard.

Turkish authorities detained the lone traveller and deported Hakimzadah back to Canada on Nov. 19, 2014. He was also banned from Turkey for a year, court heard.

Hakimzadah “had previously commented that Muslims are being oppressed all over the world and that it’s up to other Muslims to go fight,” Walsh said.

His family did not share his views.

After he returned from Turkey, he admitted he left Canada to contribute “to the fight for Allah,” but was caught beforehand, court heard. A family member reported Hakimzadah to police.

Hakimzadah, dressed in a black sweater over a white collared shirt and black dress pants, sat quietly in the prisoner box during the proceedings. He smiled at his family in the courtroom while he was led out in handcuffs.

His brother smiled back, his father waved and his mother wept.

Hakimzadah returns to court on Feb. 26 for a sentencing hearing.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Duncan Christian hosting Island girls A basketball championships

Five teams battle for two spots in provincials

LAKE FLASHBACK: Forest land sell-off, environmentalists a threat, and sewer system fix costly problem at L

TimberWest selling, a forest industry report scares locals, and sewage in the basement. Yikes!

Three men arrested after assault in Duncan

Victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries

Mary Lowther column: Growing combination for complete proteins

While we’re at it, why limit our gardens to “typical” crops?

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Coming up in Cowichan: Bowl for Kids; Leaders of Tomorrow

Bowl for Kids Sake coming up in Cowichan Valley on March 3… Continue reading

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

Most Read