In a recent development, a 29-year-old Canadian woman, Ammara Amjad, has been charged. She alleged involvement with the terrorist group ISIS after her return from Syria earlier this year. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced this on Friday, shedding light on the details surrounding her case.
Amjad initially arrived in Canada from Syria on April 4 and was promptly arrested upon her arrival at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. She was arrested under a terrorism peace bond, subsequently released under certain conditions. However, the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) formally charged her on October 5 in Milton, Ontario, for her alleged participation in the activities of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). If found guilty, this offense could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Amjad recently appeared at the William Davis Courthouse in Brampton for a bail hearing related to the charge. She has since been released on bail, subject to a number of conditions. Her next court date is scheduled for November 17, according to the RCMP.
It’s worth noting that Amjad was one of four Canadian women, accompanied by their ten children, who were repatriated to Canada in April from Syrian detention camps housing ISIS suspects. The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) previously identified these women as being from “ISIS families.”
Case of Ammara Amjad
Terrorism peace bonds are legal measures that impose restrictions on individuals for up to a year. These restrictions can include wearing an ankle bracelet, mandatory de-radicalization counseling, and staying away from terrorism-related literature. Violating these conditions can result in arrest.
Canada has faced significant challenges in bringing charges against individuals known as “Canadian Extremist Travellers,” often due to difficulties in collecting evidence from overseas war zones. National security agencies have instead relied on peace bonds, surveillance, placing individuals on no-fly lists, and passport denials as preventive measures.
The federal government initially hesitated to assist in repatriating these women from makeshift prisons and detention camps in Syria. However, officials ultimately agreed to do so after their families filed an appeal in the Federal Court.
The case of Ammara Amjad highlights the ongoing concerns and complexities surrounding Canadians. Those have been associated with extremist groups abroad. It also underscores the government’s efforts to address these issues within the legal framework while prioritizing national security.