FBI: Deported Montrealer has ties to terror
This post was written by MJ on 18th Sep, 2002
That sound you’re hearing is the other shoe dropping.
The Ottawa Citizen is reporting Maher Arar, the Syrian-born Montreal engineer abruptly deported back to Syria last month, is accused of having ties to individuals linked to terrorism.
But, as is common in this brave new time, details are scarce and law enforcement officials are not bothering with anything approaching due process or public transparency.
According to the Citizen, FBI and State Department officials — who have all along insisted Mr Maher’s sudden deportation after landing to change planes at JFK was legit — told Canadian officials last week that Mr Maher “is linked” to an unidentified Syrian-Canadian man living in Ottawa. Early this year, Mr X disappeared while travelling in Malaysia and Indonesia. In August, he turned up — Voila! — in a Syrian jail. He was arrested based on information provided to the Syrian government by the RCMP.
Mr X “is linked” to Mr Maher. Mr X is also “linked” to Ahmad Al-Maati, aka Ahmad Abou Emaati, a 28-year-old Kuwait-born Canuck. He’s also in a prison in a third-world country with little respect for the rule of law, this time Egypt. His older brother, Amr Badr Abou Elmoati, also a Canuck, is wanted by the FBI “in connection with new al-Qaeda threats made against the U.S.”
So, the wrap-up: Because he is “linked to” a man who is linked to a man who is the younger brother of a man wanted by the FBI, Mr Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen with all the rights of any other Canadian citizen, is stripped of those rights, and without any consular or legal officials being informed, spirited off to a brutal third-world dictatorship on the orders of a foreign law-enforcement agency.
Note each of these four Canadian men have been denied the most basic rights afforded to every Canadian: The right to face your accuser. The right to due process. Habeus corpus. The right to counsel.
All have ended up, conveniently, immcommunicado in a foreign jail, out of reach of their lawyers or the media.
This makes the internment of Japanese-Canadians look almost altruistic.
Might Mr Arar be a secret sympathiser of Islamic fundamentalism? Sure. Might he be an innocent, hard-working suburbanite caught-up in the illegal drag-net of a paranoid American police agency? I know where I’m putting my money.