Ontario man pleads guilty to trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria

Pamir Hakimzadah admitted he left Canada to contribute ‘to the fight for Allah,’ but was caught beforehand

A 29-year-old Ontario man admitted Friday that he left Canada four years ago to try to join Islamic State militants in Syria after harbouring increasingly radical beliefs.

Pamir Hakimzadah, who is from Toronto, pleaded guilty to one count of leaving Canada to participate in a terrorist activity.

Hakimzadah left Toronto on Oct. 22, 2014 and flew to Istanbul where he tried to find a way into Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, said Crown lawyer Christopher Walsh, who was reading from an agreed statement of facts.

“The purpose of Pamir’s trip was to enter Syria via Turkey,” Walsh said. “There he intended to join a terrorist group known as ISIS or Daesh.”

The trip took place as Hakimzadah ”exhibited increasingly radical Islamic beliefs,” Walsh said.

READ MORE: B.C. man acquitted of terror charges sues provincial, federal governments

“He spoke either in favour or in defence of ISIS,” the prosecutor said. ”He viewed online ISIS content such as videos and posts. He also viewed a website that provided instructions on how to get into Syria.”

Four days after he arrived in Turkey, a taxi driver suspected Hakimzadah was attempting to join the terrorist group and turned him in to police, court heard.

Turkish authorities detained the lone traveller and deported Hakimzadah back to Canada on Nov. 19, 2014. He was also banned from Turkey for a year, court heard.

Hakimzadah “had previously commented that Muslims are being oppressed all over the world and that it’s up to other Muslims to go fight,” Walsh said.

His family did not share his views.

After he returned from Turkey, he admitted he left Canada to contribute “to the fight for Allah,” but was caught beforehand, court heard. A family member reported Hakimzadah to police.

Hakimzadah, dressed in a black sweater over a white collared shirt and black dress pants, sat quietly in the prisoner box during the proceedings. He smiled at his family in the courtroom while he was led out in handcuffs.

His brother smiled back, his father waved and his mother wept.

Hakimzadah returns to court on Feb. 26 for a sentencing hearing.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Local, eco-friendly goods in stock at Enderby Christmas Market

New to the market: handcrafted gifts from Grindrod’s Creative Nutmeg and Big Bear Woodshack

New Vernon store Fills green need

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Vernon RCMP not toying around when it comes to impaired drivers

Saturday, Dec. 7 is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

Vernon Glee club sells out Bohemian Rhapsody

Community Music School shows at Powerhouse Theatre this weekend

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Okanagan Similkameen could have a sister city in the south of France

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen considering agreement with wine region in southern France

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Summerland businesses participate in Sip N’ Shop

Downtown event on Dec. 14 will feature local beverages

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

UBCO daycare services slated for major improvements

More families will have access to high-quality child care services at UBCO

Noxious odour detected at Summerland Health Centre

Staff felt nauseous following incident on morning of Dec. 5

Most Read