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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Graffiti sprayed on 100 Mile Community Hall

‘We’re having a hard time through this COVID’

Have you been following the Justin Trudeau and WE Charity story?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Highway 97 to be repaved in 100 Mile House following complaints

‘It’s been over a month now since those holes have been developing’

South Cariboo piano students see success at online exams

‘I like learning new songs and then actually getting to play them well’

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read