Canadian terror suspect Awso Peshdary was arrested last week, and is expected to stand trial for a series of security offenses – including luring Ottawa's youth to join the ranks of Islamic State (ISIS) and financing flights to Iraq for that purpose.
Peshdary may be connected to John McGuire, a student from the University of Ottawa who converted to Islam and joined the ranks of ISIS. McGuire recently appeared in an ISIS propaganda video in which he called on Muslims in Canada to join ISIS and participate in the fighting – or else wage jihad at home.
The Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP) claims that Peshdary may have funded McGuire's flight to Iraq to join the group.
This was not the first entanglement between Peshdary and local authorities. He was first arrested in 2010 on charges of being involved with a terror cell; one of its members had been trained in Afghanistan.
Hiva Alizada and Misbah al-Din Ahmad were convicted in the case; but there was no indictment filed against Peshdary – even though he, too, was identified as a recruiter for the terror cell at the time.
According to the Toronto Sun, along with the connections he had with the Muslim Student Association at Algonquin College in Ottawa, he was also employed as a guide for children at the local community center – where he met with about 45 children several times per week to teach basketball.
The Sun also noted that Peshdary had been accused of domestic violence, but the case was dropped after his wife refused to testify against him.
Community center officials performed a complete background check on Peshdary before hiring him, and said that reports were 'clean' of criminal records. But, according to the RCMP, only convictions would show on a background check in Canada.