The RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) in Toronto has arrested Pamir Hakimzadah for an offence under section 83.181 of the Criminal Code, for leaving Canada to participate in the activity of a terrorist group.
According to the RCMP (April 5, 2017), the investigation named Project SACHET was first initiated in January of 2016, after it was revealed that Hakimzadah had travelled to Turkey during the fall of 2014 to join the Islamic State (aka ISIS, Daesh, Calipahte), a listed terrorist entity. Hakimzadah was subsequently returned to Canada after being detained by Turkish authorities.
Hakimzadah is currently in custody for outstanding criminal allegations by the Toronto Police Service. Hakimzadah will appear before courts on his new charge on April 6, 2017. The RCMP emphasized that at no time during the course of this investigation was there any risk to public safety.
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, more than 36,500 extremist travellers from over 100 countries, including at least 6,600 individuals from Western countries, have travelled to Syria.
As of the end of 2015, the Government was aware of approximately 180 individuals with a nexus to Canada who were abroad and who were suspected of engaging in terrorism-related activities. The Government was also aware of a further 60 extremist travelers who had returned to Canada.
Since 2002, 20 individuals have been convicted of terrorism offences under the Criminal Code. Another 21 have been charged with terrorism-related offences (including 16 since January 2015) and are either awaiting trial or have warrants outstanding for their arrest.
Women now constitute approximately 20 per cent of total extremist travellers from Canada. In some cases, women have taken their children to conflict zones.
Violent extremist ideologies espoused by terrorist groups like Daesh and al-Qaida continue to appeal to certain individuals in Canada. Some individuals have engaged in terrorism-related activities such as promoting violence online, radicalizing peers, recruiting and fundraising. Others may consider travelling abroad to join a terrorist group or conducting terrorist attacks themselves.