A terrorism offender released from prison last year despite concerns he remained a “high risk to public safety” has been arrested again for allegedly breaching his probation.
RCMP counter-terrorism officers took Kevin Omar Mohamed back into custody at a job site last month after he was allegedly caught with a cellular phone, police said on Monday.
“I can confirm that the RCMP arrested Kevin Mohamed as a result of a breach of his probation,” said Sgt. Penny Hermann. “He was arrested on July 8, 2020, and was released shortly thereafter.”
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada said the breach stemmed from “the use of an unauthorized mobile phone with internet connectivity.”
“As a condition of his probation, he is not to be in possession of a device capable of accessing the internet without the permission of his probation officer,” Nathalie Houle said.
“It is alleged that the phone he was arrested with was not previously authorized by his probation officer. He was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear at College Park Courthouse on September 8, 2020.”
A former University of Waterloo student, Mohamed is one of Canada’s growing number of terrorism offenders, some of whom are coming out of prison despite concerns they have not abandoned their violent extremist beliefs.
Mohamed travelled to Syria and met members of the al-Qaeda faction Jabhat Al-Nusrah in 2014. He also posted messages on social media encouraging others to travel to Syria or conduct attacks in the West.
When he was arrested in 2016, he was carrying a large knife as well as notes from al-Qaeda publications on targets, attack plans and preparing for terrorist attacks.
He was convicted of participating in the activity of a terrorist group and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in October 2017. But he was released in 2019.
Prior to his release, the Parole Board of Canada raised alarms, writing that Mohamed had not participated in any de-radicalization efforts and there was no indication he had abandoned extremist beliefs.
“Thus, the board is concerned that you may continue to commit terrorist related offences,” parole officials wrote.
To mitigate the public risk, the parole board imposed a list of “special conditions,” including that he not possess materials promoting terrorism or devices capable of accessing the internet.
“The board remains very concerned that the serious nature of your offences alone, coupled with your dangerous radical religious beliefs, would impede your reintegration and continue to present significant risk to the community as a whole,” the board wrote.
Last month, the parole board said Rehab Dughmosh, who conducted an attack in Toronto for ISIS, had threatened to attack once again if she was released. Her statutory release date is January 2022.