Canadian who traveled to Syria to join IS pleads guilty

April 28, 2022 GMT

CALGARY, Canada (AP) — A Calgary man who traveled to Syria to join the militant group Islamic State pleaded guilty Thursday to terrorism-related activities.

Hussein Borhot, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of participating in terrorism group activity between May 9 and June 7, 2014, and the commission of the offence of kidnapping for a terrorist group while in Syria.

RCMP arrested him in July 2020 after a seven-year investigation which also involved the FBI and U.S. Department of Defense.

An agreed statement of facts says Borhot traveled to Syria through Turkey to join the Islamic State. He signed up as a fighter, received substantial training and excelled as a sniper.

He did not tell his wife about the trip, said the document.

Court heard that Borhot revealed much of the information to an undercover officer after he returned to Canada.

Borhot told the officer that he and some other Islamic State fighters traveled to a village, where they kidnapped a number of opposing fighters, said the document.

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He also said he had sworn an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State and expressed a desire to return and fight in Syria.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Labrenz accepted the pleas and adjourned the case to next month for a sentencing hearing.

The maximum sentence on the second offence is life in prison.

Borhot remains on bail with strict conditions, including wearing ankle-tracking devices, not applying for travel documents, and heeding a ban on having firearms, ammunition or explosives.