Toronto 18 member granted day parole
An expert on terrorism and deradicalization said a Toronto 18 member’s release on day parole could act as a benchmark for years to come. Kent Roach, law professor and co-author of a book on Canada’s anti-terrorism policy, said the string of conditions attached to Saad Gaya’s day parole might serve as a template for other convicted terrorists granted some form of parole from prison. “This is an issue that is going to reoccur over the next decade,’’ he said. “Although some convicted terrorists have been sentenced to life imprisonment, many others have not.’’ “The issue of whether they have been rehabilitated is something we will see more and more,’’ he added. Gaya, now 28, is serving time after pleading guilty to participating in a plot to bomb three Toronto targets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, in protest of Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan. The former science student at Hamilton’s McMaster University was arrested in 2006 while unloading a delivery truck filled with three tonnes of bags marked ammonium nitrate fertilizer. He was originally sentenced in 2010 to 12 years in prison, and an appeal court increased that to 18 years. On Wednesday, Gaya was denied full parole, but was granted up to six months of day parole, which will allow him to attend school and work in the community. But he must return to a community-based residential facility at night. According to the Parole Board of Canada decision obtained by The Canadian Press, Gaya plans on pursuing a master’s degree.