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Fort St. John man in court to face terror charges

WATCH ABOVE: A Fort St. John man has been arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences. Othman Ayed Hamdan, 33, is accused of posting Islamic State propaganda online, including instructions to commit murder in the name of jihad.

The RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team has arrested a 33-year-old man from Fort St. John and charged him for committing terrorism offences.

Othman Ayed Hamdan is being held in custody and will appear in court today, Monday July 13, to face terror charges.

Hamdan is charged with counselling to commit murder for the benefit of a terrorist group; counselling to assault causing bodily harm for the benefit of a terrorist group; and counselling to commit aggravated assault for the benefit of a terrorist group.

Those counts come from two different instances in September 2014 and March 2015.

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RCMP began investigating Hamdan in October 2014 and allege he was posting pro-ISIS propaganda online, including instructions to kill people in the name of Jihad.

Hamdan was arrested in Fort St. John hours before the RCMP made their announcement, and also executed a search warrant on his property.

“This arrests once again makes it very clear that the threat is real,” said Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Canada’s Minister of National Revenue, in a short press conference this evening.

The international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada.”

Findlay was unable to say whether Hamdan was a Canadian citizen, or specifics on the criminal activity Hamdan was allegedly involved in.

“Through the collaboration of our INSET, we were able to arrest this individual and disrupt his efforts to harm citizens across the country,” said Superintendent Dan Bond, Assistant Criminal Operations Officer, National Security for the RCMP in British Columbia, in a statement.

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said she hasn’t spoken with anyone who knows Othman Ayed Hamdan, and doesn’t know when he arrived in the city of 21,000 people.

“No one knew he was here because he wasn’t part of the community,” Ackerman said in a phone interview.

No one in the local Muslim community knew Hadman either, said Azhar Phoolwala, spokesman for the Peace River Muslim Association.

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The suspect had not been to Fort St. John’s year-old mosque or to any prayer meetings or events held by the religious group, Phoolwala said.

“Like anyone else in Fort St. John, it’s really a shock to us,” he said.

“This is all about this individual. It’s not about Islam and it’s not about the Muslim community here.”

WATCH: B.C. man facing terrorism charges

– With files from The Canadian Press

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