EDMONTON—An Alberta judge has ordered the extradition of a man facing terrorism charges in the United States after he allegedly helped pay for his relatives to travel to Syria.
Abdullahi Ahmed Abdullahi, 33, is accused of being part of a January 2014 jewelry store robbery in Edmonton to fund the Syrian trips.
The order needs to be approved by the federal justice minister and Abdullahi will be given the chance to make his case to the minister. He also has 30 days to appeal before being turned over to U.S. authorities.
In a U.S. indictment, he is charged with conspiring to provide — and with providing — material support to terrorists.
Officials allege Abdullahi conspired with Douglas McCain, the first known American who died fighting for Daesh, also known as the Islamic State, and others in the U.S. and Canada “to provide support to terrorists engaged in violent activities in Syria.”
Article Continued Below
Abdullahi was indicted in California in March 2017 by a federal grand jury and arrested by Canadian authorities last September.
The U.S. indictment alleges that Abdullahi conspired with McCain and others to provide personnel and money to people engaged in terrorist activities in Syria, including killing, kidnapping and maiming people.
It alleges Abdullahi robbed the Edmonton jewelry store to finance the travel of McCain and others, then wired the money.
Abdullahi is scheduled to appear in Edmonton provincial court Aug. 9 on the armed robbery charge.
Federal Crown prosecutors, on behalf of the U.S. government, argued Abdullahi should be extradited to face the terrorism charges. They said he and others used draft emails in a shared account to communicate with each other.
“It was being used by [Daesh] fighters in the U.S. to travel to Syria,” Crown prosecutor Stacey Dej told the court.
Dozens of the draft emails have been recovered from a computer, she said.
Article Continued Below
Dej said two witnesses also have been able to identify who wrote the emails by their nicknames.
Abdullahi, also known as Phish, shook his head and disputed at least one of the Crown’s submissions, but his objection couldn’t be heard in the public gallery.
His defence lawyer, Akram Attia, had argued there was no way to prove when the emails were written and who wrote them.
“This is double hearsay,” he told court. “I know of no case where that would be allowed in this country. I don’t think it would be allowed in the U.S. either.”
Attia acknowledged that the test is lower for an extradition hearing, but he suggested it isn’t that low.