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Calgary man admits to terrorism charges related to Islamic State

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WATCH: A Calgary man has admitted he travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State. Hussein Borhot pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges Thursday. Ina Sidhu reports. – Apr 28, 2022

A Calgary man has pleaded guilty to terrorism-related activities with the militant group Islamic State.

Hussein Borhot, 36, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of participating in terrorism group activity between May 9 and June 7, 2014, and the commission of the offence of kidnapping for a terrorist group while in Syria.

RCMP arrested him in July 2020 after a seven-year investigation.

Read more: Alleged Calgary ISIS kidnapper ordered released on bail

He was charged with three counts of participating in terrorism group activity as well as with commission of an offence for a terrorist group.

An agreed statement of facts says Borhot travelled to Syria through Turkey to join the Islamic State. He signed up as a fighter, received substantial training and excelled as a sniper.

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He did not tell his wife about the trip, said the document.

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ISIS leader killed in U.S. special forces raid in Syria – Feb 3, 2022

Court heard that Borhot revealed much of the information to an undercover officer after he returned to Canada.

Borhot told the officer that he and some other Islamic State fighters travelled to a village, where they kidnapped a number of opposing fighters, said the document.

He also said he had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State and expressed a desire to return and fight in Syria.

When asked by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Labrenz whether the facts were correct, he replied that they were, but said: “I didn’t know better.”

Read more: Canadian ‘extremist travellers’ a significant concern, RCMP says after ISIS-related arrest

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Borhot had been free on bail with strict conditions, including wearing ankle-tracking devices, not applying for travel documents, and heeding a ban on having firearms, ammunition or explosives.

A four-week trial was to begin Nov. 21. The case will be back in court May 26 to set a date for sentencing.

Borhot’s cousin, Jamal Borhot, is also accused of joining the Islamic State and faces three counts of participating in terrorist group activity.

He had a trial date scheduled for October, but is now searching for a new lawyer. He is to return to court May 13.

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