TORONTO — A Pakistani man accused of plotting bomb attacks on the U.S. consulate and other buildings in Toronto was ordered out of Canada on Friday following a process his lawyer denounced as a farce.
Jahanzeb Malik, who will not contest the decision, is now expected to be deported within the next several weeks.
In declaring Malik inadmissible on national security grounds, Immigration and Refugee Board member Andy Laut cited evidence from an undercover RCMP officer, who had befriended the 33-year-old flooring contractor.
The agent had testified Malik was a Sunni extremist who professed sympathies for terror groups. Among other things, the officer said Malik showed him videos of ISIS beheadings, asked about making explosives, and told him he had received weapons training in Libya.
“The evidence provides credible and compelling reasons to find that Mr. Malik planned and intended to carry out an attack by car bombing a building in the financial district in Toronto,” Laut said.
“Mr. Malik was motivated to do so by his jihadist ideology and planned to do so for the purpose of intimidating the population.”
A handcuffed Malik, who was appearing for a detention review via video link from a prison in Lindsay, Ont., showed little reaction when his lawyer, Anser Farooq, gave him the news.
Farooq, who has derided the use of immigration rather than criminal proceedings in such cases, said it makes no sense to kick out someone alleged to be a dangerous terrorist.
In addition, Farooq said, the low standard of proof required in inadmissibility cases means someone can be shown the door based on questionable evidence.
“The immigration detention review and inadmissibility process is farcical in the face of the serious allegations and the standard of proof required to label someone for the rest of their life,” Farooq told the Canadian Press. “The purpose fails me.”
After hearing Laut’s ruling, board member Harry Adamidis ordered Malik, who was arrested March 9, to stay in custody.
“There is no alternative to his detention,” Adamidis said. “I find that if released on his own, he would constitute a danger to the public.”
Malik has no regard for the safety and well-being of others or for the law, Adamidis said.
While the permanent resident had shown himself to be a religious zealot who believed in violence to further his beliefs, Adamidis noted there was no evidence Malik posed an imminent threat.
“He did not actually plan to bomb a specific target on a specific date,” Adamidis said. “The plan was very much in the conceptual stages.”
Government counsel, Jessica Lourenco, countered that Malik clearly intended to develop the plot. He had inquired about the feasibility of making bombs and the amount of explosives required, she said.
“It was a plan Mr. Malik did intend to follow through on,” Lourenco said.
Malik has a valid passport and his removal will occur as soon as it can be arranged — likely in about three weeks.
Farooq said there would be no attempt to delay the deportation.
“I’m just going to get Mr. Malik out of here just as soon as we can,” the lawyer said.
In a separate case decided last month, another Pakistani man, Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, who amassed a collection of high-power guns, was ordered out of Canada as a danger to national security. His deportation is expected at any time.
Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press