WATCH: Suliman Mohamed’s family insists he’s not involved in a conspiracy with two Ottawa brothers who are also facing terrorism-related charges. As Vassy Kapelos reports, police are revealing little about the alleged conspiracy.
OTTAWA — The 21-year-old man accused of terrorism-related activities appeared in an Ottawa court Tuesday, where he was told he’d be remanded in custody until Feb. 12, when he will have his second court appearance.
RCMP arrested Suliman Mohamed Monday, charging him with participation in the activity of a terrorist group and with conspiracy to participate in a terrorist activity.
The police confirmed Mohamed’s case is connected to the arrests of Ottawa twin brothers Carlos Larmond and Ashton Larmond, both 24 years old. The three have been ordered to not communicate with one another while incarcerated.
RCMP said they will not be providing any more details on the arrests, as the cases are now before the courts.
Mohamed’s father told reporters Tuesday morning his son was not involved in anything to do with terrorism.
“I know my son. He doesn’t participate in these things,” Idiris Altahir said. “He’s a student. He’s a normal citizen … He’s a very normal person; quiet, polite and generous.”
Asked about his son’s religious affiliation, Altahir said he’s Muslim. “As I am. But he’s not a terrorist. Not every Muslim is.”
The twin brothers, who each made a brief court appearance Saturday, also had their cases held over until Feb. 12.
The Crown prosecutor in the case against Mohamed said he opposed bail for “obvious” reasons.
“There is a serious risk in these types of charges,” Rod Sonley said. “We are opposing their release from custody and the reasons for that will be outlined in the court room.”
Neither the defence counsel nor the defendant and his family are clear on the details of the charges, as the prosecution hasn’t yet submitted a copy of the evidence police collected — the result of a rush arrest, Sonley explained, since one of the twins was apprehended at an airport, allegedly prepared to board an international flight.
Mohamed’s lawyer, Doug Baum, described his client as confused and upset.
“The lack of knowledge doesn’t help,” he said. “He’s a normal kid in almost every respect. He grew up in Ottawa, went to school here … There’s really nothing exceptional about him.”
The Larmonds’ lawyer, Joseph Addelman, said Saturday their case will test Canadian democratic ideals of freedom of assembly and freedom of religion.
Carlos Larmond was arrested at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Police said he was attempting to travel overseas for terrorist purposes, though police wouldn’t say where he was planning to travel. He has been charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group and for attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity abroad.
Ashton Larmond was arrested in Ottawa. He faces charges of facilitating terrorist activity, participation in the activity of a terrorist group, and for instructing to carry out activity for a terrorist group.
Following Monday’s arrest in Ottawa, federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney issued a statement pointing to the three arrests as the country’s continued efforts “to confront and address the significant challenges posed by the global terror threat.”