B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

B.C. man cleared of terrorism charges related to Facebook posts

Court heard Othman Hamdan paid tribute online to gains made by Islamic State militants

A B.C. man accused of using his Facebook account to express support of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks has been acquitted of all charges.

Othman Hamdan’s judge-alone trial began in June, when he pleaded not guilty to encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief as well as inducing and instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act.

READ MORE: B.C. man pleads not guilty to four terrorism-related charges

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler announced his decision on Friday, and it was confirmed by the criminal registry Monday.

The alleged offences were related to 85 Facebook posts between September 2014 and July 2015, when Hamdan was arrested.

The Fort St. John resident who described himself as a non-practising Sunni Muslim testified his posts highlighted government clashes against citizens who were “squashed” as they held peaceful protests during the Arab spring in the Middle East.

The trial heard his posts paid tribute to gains made by Islamic State militants with attacks in Canada and other Western countries.

Hamdan said he began posting comments on his Facebook profile and created some pages based initially on what he saw on social media, which played a big role in the series of demonstrations that swept through the Arab world.

“Lone wolves, we salute you,” read one post on March 3, 2015, as read in court by Crown counsel.

Another post in October 2014 calls Martin Couture-Rouleau, who rammed a car into Canadian soldiers in Quebec, “the real hero for hitting evil Canadian forces on their soil in retaliation for the Canadians supporting the Shiite gangs in Iraq.”

The post adds, “May Allah accept him,” which the Crown’s expert witness told the trial is a reference to the Muslim belief that only God can decide who is a legitimate martyr.

Another post in January 2015 blamed then-prime minister Stephen Harper for the lone-wolf attacks in Canada.

“In response to Harper’s policy of no restrictions on Canadian criminal forces in Iraq, Islamic State issues … an order to lone wolves in Canada with ‘no restrictions’ on targets … unlike prior restrictions to government and armed personnel only,” the post says, as read in court by Crown counsel.

Hamdan testified he abandoned his Islamic religion after moving to the United States in 1999 and converted to Christianity, then returned back to his former religion.

He also testified he drank lots of alcohol and smoked pot while living a Rastafarian lifestyle in the U.S., where he was soul searching.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Top Vernon business leaders revealed

Final 10 in KPMG’s Top 20 Under 40 announced

Winter Carnival event tickets going on sale

Tickets for events that require them go on sale Friday, Dec. 1

Vernon rocks!

Rocks, gems and jewels shine over weekend

Vipers earn Team Canada invitations

Three Vernon Vipers, along with Vernon native Powell Connor, invited to Canada West camp

Dumping at Shaw Road “disgusting”

CSRD praises volunteers, wants illegal dumpers prosecuted

Sutton collecting warm winter wear for Vernon residents in need

Sutton aims to spread warmth throughout the community with annual winter clothing drive

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

Holiday campaign helps Okanagan seniors

London Drugs’ Stocking Stuffers for Seniors Campaign kicks off Monday, Nov. 20

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Silver Star opens Thursday

Vernon’s ski hill has plenty of snow and plenty of fun packed for opening weekend

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Most Read