- Canadian resident linked to al Qaeda leaders, including Abu Zubaydah
- Linked to the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization
Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) documents accuse Mohammed Harkat of having ties to key al Qaeda leaders, including Abu Zubaydah, the terrorist network’s overall operational planner and a top member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle. Zubaydah was arrested in 2002 in Pakistan by FBI agents and Pakistani police.Court records also linked Harkat to Ahmed Khadr, suspected of being a terrorist operative and placed on the U.S. government's most-wanted list after the 9/11 attacks. Khadr, believed to be the highest-ranking Canadian in al Qaeda's network, was identified in the CSIS documents as a "close associate" of bin Laden who helped finance terrorist activities through charitable organizations.Harkat, 34, arrived in Canada from Malaysia in 1995 using what Canadian officials said was a phony Saudi passport. He was the focus of an ongoing investigation of terror suspects in Canada for five years. "His support for individuals and groups involved in political violence or terrorist activity, his alliances with Islamic extremists, and his use of security techniques lead the CSIS to believe that Harkat is associated with organizations that support the use of political violence and terrorism," the CSIS said.
Canadian intelligence officials also have linked Harkat to the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization, two Saudi-based charitable groups suspected of assisting terrorists. Both were named in a $1 trillion lawsuit filed in the United States by family members of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Harkat, who worked in Ottawa as a gas station attendant and pizza deliverer, was granted refugee status in Canada in 1997 after he said he faced political persecution in Algeria. He was reported to have been involved with the Armed Islamic Group, which sought to overthrow the Algerian government."The service believes Mohammed Harkat is an Islamic extremist," the CSIS said. "He was and is a member of the bin Laden network, and Harkat's role in this terrorist network is exemplified by his actions and intentions."
The CSIS said Harkat "lied" to immigration officials that he had no friends or associates in Canada, and "attempted to mask his relationships with individuals in Canada, in part, to dissociate himself from individuals or groups who support terrorism."
This profile was adapted from the article"Al Qaeda Operating in Canada,"written by Jerry Seper and published by FrontPageMagazine.com on December 26, 2002.