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

Alberta to play for gold in wheelchair basketball

Action-packed first week of Canada Winter Games nearly a wrap

Boxers claim two silver medals for Alberta in wild night

Cole Brander of Edmonton fought for the gold medal against Avery Martin-Duval of Quebec

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

Millennial men least likely to have a family doctor: Statistics Canada

Report found more women have primary care physicians, compared with men

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read