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Father speaks out after son charged for allegedly leaving Canada to join ISIS

Click to play video 'Family speaks out after son arrested for allegedly leaving Canada to join Islamic State' Family speaks out after son arrested for allegedly leaving Canada to join Islamic State
WATCH: Family speaks out after son arrested for allegedly leaving Canada to join Islamic State. Ashley Carter reports.

The father of a Toronto man who was charged after allegedly leaving Canada to join the Islamic State, is denying the allegations made by police about his son.

Pamir Hakimzadah, 27, was arrested by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team Wednesday afternoon under Project Sachet, an “extensive national security criminal investigation,” officers said Wednesday.

He was charged under the Criminal Code for participating in the activity of a terrorist group.

“They took him to the jail for no reason … he is a strong, religious person,” Hakimzadah’s father, who didn’t provide his first name, told Global News at his North York home Wednesday evening.

“He’s a Muslim, he’s praying, that’s his problem – no terrorist. He’s a good person. He’s an excellent person.”

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Hakimzadah’s father said his son was previously arrested while visiting in Turkey. He rejected the allegations made by police and said he didn’t want to comment further as “the judge will make a decision.”

Police said the investigation started in January 2016 after investigators learned Hakimzadah allegedly went to Turkey in the fall of 2014 to join the Islamic State. Officers said he was previously returned to Canada after being detained by Turkish authorities. The RCMP said there wasn’t any public safety risk during the time of the investigation.

The RCMP said Hakimzadah is in custody for “outstanding criminal allegations by the Toronto Police Service.”

Toronto Police Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told Global News the accused was formerly arrested on June 27, 2016 and charged with uttering threats, assault causing bodily harm and assault. Douglas-Cook was unable to provide more information on the nature and status of those charges.

Hakimzadah is scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Thursday morning.