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SITE In The News
Khadr sees implied threat in video
By Stewart Bell
Published in: National Post
November 4, 2004

Extremists call him a spy

An Internet message board that disseminates the videotaped beheadings of hostages kidnapped in Iraq has posted footage of Canadian Abdurahman Khadr, calling him a spy and vowing to "strike the oppressors."

In what appears to be a thinly veiled threat against Mr. Khadr, a 21-year-old Toronto man who trained at weapons camps in Afghanistan but later became a paid CIA informant, the message board posted a link to a video it called "the spy."

"Download now the video of the CIA Agent, the Canadian, Abdul Rahman, from Afghanistan to Guantanamo," the Arabic-language message said. "God! Support the mujahedeen. God! Strike the oppressors."

In the video, which contains footage lifted from a Canadian television documentary, Mr. Khadr tells how he worked as a paid informant for the CIA in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Sarajevo.

It was posted on a message board used frequently by supporters of the so-called mujahedeen, Islamic fighters waging violence in Iraq and the Middle East, said Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Institute in Washington, which discovered the item yesterday.

Asked about the Internet posting, Mr. Khadr said he had not seen it. "Obviously, the meaning that they put out there [is] to threaten me, but that's the first one."

Mr. Khadr is a member of what he once described as Canada's "al-Qaeda family," a Toronto-based household that spent most of the past two decades in Pakistan and Afghanistan, for a time at one of Osama bin Laden's compounds in Jalalabad.

His father Ahmed Khadr, a Canadian al-Qaeda member and bin Laden associate, was killed battling Pakistani troops last October. His brother Karim was injured in a gun battle and another brother Omar is detained at Guantanamo Bay after allegedly killing a U.S. soldier.

Although he attended "al-Qaeda-related" training camps and was urged by his father to become a suicide bomber, Mr. Khadr says he was never a believer in bin Laden's cause and, following his capture in Kabul in November, 2001, he began working with American intelligence agents.

Mr. Khadr appeared briefly in Federal Court yesterday as his lawyer argued the Canadian government erred when it refused to give him a passport. "Put simply, Mr. Khadr has been treated badly by his government," Clayton Ruby said. "Citizens ought not to be treated this way."

Shortly after he returned to Canada last year, Mr. Khadr applied for a new passport but was denied without explanation. Only after he launched court proceedings against the government in May did he discover he was refused due to concerns about his family ties to bin Laden.

The decision was made by Bill Graham, then the Minister of Foreign Affairs, because at the time officials in the Passport Office did not have the power to refuse a passport on national security grounds. The law has since been changed.

Mr. Ruby argued the Minister had no authority to deny the passport and said the decision was unfair because the government concealed from Mr. Khadr the reason he was not getting his travel document.

Peter Southey, a lawyer representing the federal government, said officials had made a procedural error when they failed to tell Mr. Khadr why his passport was denied. "The Attorney-General admits that Mr. Khadr should have been advised of the public facts that were relied upon by the Minister," Mr. Southey said.

The government wants Mr. Khadr's passport application to go back to Foreign Affairs for another review. But Mr. Ruby wants the court to rule that the passport application has to be decided under the old rules, before national security was grounds for refusal.

The judge reserved his decision.


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