Othman Ayad Hamdan named Revelstoke dam as a potential terrorist target in a series of Facebook posts praising ISIS in 2015. (File photo)

Detained ISIS supporter may be released in Enderby, B.C.

Former refugee Othman Ayad Hamdan may be released to Enderby while awaiting deportation

A Jordanian man who posted online naming the Revelstoke Dam as a potential terrorist target may soon be released from detainment while he awaits deportation.

Othman Ayed Hamdan was detained by Canada Border Services Agency in 2017 after sharing messages of support for ISIS online. He was deemed a “danger to the security of Canada” by the Immigration and Refugee Board.

If released, Hamdan said he would stay in Enderby with a friend. The town is roughly 100 km from Revelstoke and its dam.

The release would have 25 conditions, that could, according to the detention review transcripts, include a bond of $2,000, curfew between midnight and 6 a.m., no internet access or unaccompanied vehicle travel, no weapons, daily voice reports and in-person reporting to a RCMP office.

Enderby Mayor Greg McCune said Aug. 4 he was not given any notice by any government agency of Hamdan’s release and that Enderby was the preferred destination.

On Monday,Aug. 12, a hearing took place between the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Hamdan, and the Federal Court ruled Hamdan must remain in custody, pending the determination of the Minister’s application for leave and judicial review of the release order.

The decision was welcomed by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“While immigration detention is a last resort, it remains an essential tool for the protection of the health and safety of Canadians, and to maintain the security of Canadian society,” said Joelle Shelton, Western Canada communications advisor for CSBA.

McCune, on Aug. 14, was still extremely angry over the situation.

“It’s super frustrating,” he said. “I’m mostly disappointed in the process. I’m shocked we weren’t consulted and shocked the RCMP weren’t consulted.”

READ MORE: Deportation ordered for B.C. man who ‘glorified’ terrorism on Facebook

Immigration and Refugee board member Geoff Rempel ruled on Aug. 2 that it was not right to keep detaining Hamden and that he should be released.

“In my view ,with appropriate conditions of release, he is not a danger to the public,” he said in the review documents.

However, the federal court later issued an interim stay of release and is currently reviewing the Immigration Division’s decision. There is no date given for when Hamdan would be deported.

In an interview with the CBC, former CSIS and RCMP operative Mubin Shaikh said Hamdan’s potential release is a serious situation.

“He should definitely not be released.”

Hamdan should remain in custody until deportation, he continued.

Mayor Gary Sulz of Revelstoke echoed those concerns.

“Why isn’t he just being deported?”

Sulz continued that there will have to be great trust in those monitoring him, including the RCMP, that they will not let Hamdan go near Revelstoke.

READ MORE: B.C. man cleared of terror charges is security risk: RCMP officer

Hamdan is a Jordanian national and moved to Canada from the U.S. in 2002 because of threats and was granted refugee protection in 2004.

In 2015, he was arrested in Fort St. John for 85 Facebook posts that promoted ISIS and praised lone wolf terrorist attacks, but was later acquitted of terror charges in a B.C. court.

At the time of the arrest, Const. Terak Mokdad told an immigration admissibility hearing that Hamdan was a security risk and that the translated Arabic posts clearly showed the man was becoming radicalized.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada then revoked his refugee status and Hamdan awaits deportation. Hamdan has argued that he was falsely accused of terrorism and has sued the B.C. and Canadian governments.

In an email response to Hamdan’s potential release, B.C. Hydro spokesperson Jen Walker-Larsen wrote, “We safely maintain and operate 79 dams at 41 locations around the province. We have extensive security systems and emergency management plans in place to monitor and respond to any threats. We are partnered with various government, law enforcement, intelligence agencies and other utilities who share information across Canada. We monitor this information and conduct real time risk assessments daily for all of our facilities to make sure they stay safe and secure.”

The reservoir behind the Revelstoke dam has a capacity of 1.5183 kilometres cubed, which would fill 607,320 Olympic-size swimming pools. It is the second from the headwaters of 14 dams along the Columbia River and less than 10 km upstream of the nearest city–Revelstoke.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Kelowna Rockets?

This quiz challenges the knowledge of those who claim to be the biggest Rockets fans

12-year-old Kelowna resident celebrates birthday with help of community

The community greeted Kate Pauling with ballons, banners and gifts along her paper route on Friday

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

Most Read