This is quite interesting. Regardless of whether or not the accuses is Innocent or guilty, it is amazing that a member of the PFLP terrorist organization was granted permanent residency in Canada, and even citizenship later! Who scrutinizes these applications? Are they incompetent or just stupid?As a member of a terrorist group, this person should have NEVER been allowed to set foot in Canada if immigration law had been enforced, let alone grant him citizenship. This is not the first case involving PFLP terrorists: Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, a PFLP terrorist convicted in Greece after a plane hijacking in Athens, who gained residency in Canada after hiding his true identity, is still in Canada fighting deportation back to Lebanon on "humanitarian" grounds.
Synagogue bombing suspect vows to fight
From Friday's Globe and Mail
November 14, 2008 at 1:21 AM EST
Until last year, Hassan Diab was leading the quiet life of a Canadian sociology professor.
Prof. Diab was teaching at both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, was said to be a popular colleague and teacher. After leaving the violence of his native Lebanon and earning his doctorate in the United States, Prof. Diab, 54, received his Canadian citizenship and appeared to settle into Ottawa.
There, friends said he was a secular man with an interest in sociology and Middle East studies, and was not without a warm side.
"He has a great rapport with students," said Carleton professor Nahla Abdo, a friend of Prof. Diab's. "He's intelligent, he's smart, he's witty. … I really think highly of his academic skills."
But just before noon on Thursday, the RCMP showed up at a home in Gatineau, Que., and arrested Prof. Diab on behalf of French authorities, who allege he was an integral part of the bombing of a Paris synagogue 28 years ago. That 1980 attack, involving a bomb hidden in the saddlebags of a motorcycle parked outside the synagogue during a Sabbath service, killed three French men and an Israeli woman. It sparked thousands of French citizens to protest against the targeted attack on the Jewish community, France's largest since the Second World War.
Today, Prof. Diab will appear in court in an extradition hearing. He steadfastly maintains his innocence, saying he wasn't in Paris at all that year, his name is very common, and that French investigators simply have the wrong man.
"It's a case of mistaken identity," his lawyer, René Duval, told The Globe last night. "I'm telling you he's innocent, and we'll fight that up to the Supreme Court of Canada."
The first allegations against Prof. Diab surfaced last November, when a French newspaper, Le Figaro, received a leak that he built the bomb in the 1980 attack. Citing French sources, the paper has since said that France's overall case includes tenuous evidence such as a handwritten note and fingerprints on a rental car. Prof. Diab was a member of a Palestinian terrorist group at the time of the attack, the paper also alleges, citing a French arrest warrant.
For Mr. Diab, life hasn't been the same since. He has been harassed, followed, and had one person attempt to break into his apartment, his lawyer alleges. None of the specific charges against him have been made openly and French authorities have not attempted to contact Mr. Duval. In today's hearing, he hopes to hear the charges on which the French hope to extradite Prof. Diab.
"They have to make a case that he should be detained, so they're going to have to show some of their cards," he said. "How would you like to be dragged into public scrutiny for something you haven't done, but is extremely serious nowadays?"
The Justice Department approved the "provisional arrest warrant" as per the extradition agreement between France and Canada, spokesman Christian Girouard said. A Canadian judge approved the move after reviewing basic evidence in the case, he added.
RCMP then carried out the arrest at a residence in Gatineau and held Prof. Diab in Ottawa overnight, Corporal Jean Hainey said.
French officials say anti-terrorist judges Marc Trevidic and Yves Jannier travelled to Canada earlier this week in hopes of advancing their inquiry into the bombing. There was no comment on that by the Justice Department or the RCMP in Ottawa.
The Canadian Jewish Congress, while cautioning that the allegations against Prof. Diab aren't proven, applauded French authorities for continuing the investigation.
"They have followed this case relentlessly to this international arrest warrant, and I think it gives a strong message, and a very needed strong message in the post-9/11 world," CJC chief executive Bernie Farber said.
After today's scheduled hearing, French authorities will have 45 days to lay out a more detailed case against Prof. Diab. Pending approval of that evidence by the Justice Department, a Canadian judge would have to approve an extradition order, which the Minister of Justice would then have to approve.
With a report from The Canadian Press