Police in Canada followed up on leads relating to a IS terror cell and have made another arrest. A senior police official says Canadian police are announcing charges against three men related to an Islamic State recruiting terror cell in Ottawa, the Huffington Post reported. The official said the case involves alleged recruiting by John Maguire, a fighter who appeared in an IS video overseas and who reportedly might have been killed recently.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, says charges will be brought against Maguire, who police can’t confirm is dead. The official says they will also announce charges against a third man. Suliman Mohamed, 21, was charged last month with participating in a terrorist group.
The Canadian government, acting in the wake of two fatal attacks by suspected Islamist militants in October 2014, last week introduced legislation giving security agencies more powers to disrupt plots.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in October they were tracking around 90 high-risk individuals who could pose a danger in Canada or abroad and vowed to make more arrests, according to Canada Journal.
Canadian security officials have said they are concerned by what they have described as potential attacks by the so-called “lone wolf” converts to Islam.
Maguire appeared in an Islamic State propaganda video last year in which he appealed to fellow Canadians to stage attacks on their countrymen.
Extremist-related Twitter accounts have reported that Maguire was killed recently during the fierce fight waged over the Syrian border town of Kobani between Islamic State and Kurdish ground forces backed by U.S.-led airstrikes.
At an Ottawa news conference Tuesday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan said Maguire traveled to Turkey in December 2012 and is known to have become a member of Islamic State. But authorities have yet to see any credible evidence that he has been killed, she said.
“We continue to work actively with our domestic and international partners to return Khalib and Maguire to Canada so they can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” she told reporters.
The latest arrest and charges in absentia “speak to our ability to tackle a threat that is multi-faceted and constantly evolving,” Assistant RCMP Commissioner James Malizia said in a statement.
“Through collaborative efforts with our partners, we were able to disrupt an organized network associated with [Islamic State]. This network was involved in recruiting individuals for terrorism purposes and in sending them into Syria and Iraq for the benefit of this terrorist group.”
Authorities arrested three others associated with the same recruiting operation on Jan. 9. Twin brothers Carlos and Ashton Larmond, 24, and Suliman Mohamed, 21, were charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist group as well as other offenses. All three were on the RCMP’s national security watch list, Canadian Press reported.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed after two “lone wolf” terrorist strikes in October to seek legislation that would allow authorities to better track and detain suspected extremists. Those attacks killed a sentry on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and a soldier in a parking lot near Montreal.