July 24, 2014 10:33 am

Hersi sentenced to 10 years in prison for trying to join terrorist group

Young fighters from Al-Shabab come together to count their bullets at a frontline section in Sinaya Neighborhood in Mogadishu, on July 13, 2009.

Mohamed Dahir, AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO – Mohamed Hersi was sentenced the maximum penalty of 10 years in prison Thursday for attempting to join the ranks of a terrorist organization abroad.

Hersi was arrested in 2011 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport while boarding a plane headed for Cairo.

Hersi was 25-years-old and a Canadian citizen at the time of his arrest.

The RCMP accused him of being on his way to Somalia to join al-Shabab, an organization both Canada and the United States have designated a terrorist group.

The police agency had previously lauded Hersi’s conviction as a “significant milestone” as it was the first time a Canadian had been convicted of attempting to leave the country to join a terrorist organization.

Al-Shabab is a terrorist organization that originated in Somalia and has upwards of several thousand people among its ranks. The group has claimed responsibility for the attack at Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya that killed 67 people.

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