Canada arrests Pakistani gun owner, alleges security threat
By Richard Valdmanis
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Police have jailed a Pakistani gun collector living in Ontario, alleging he is a terrorist threat to Canada, his lawyer said on Thursday, days after attacks in which two Canadian soldiers were killed.
Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, a 30-year-old software designer, was arrested on Monday on allegations he has ties to militants in Pakistan, has amassed an arsenal of firearms, and has expressed extreme views on Twitter, his lawyer, Anser Farooq, said.
Ansari, who does not have Canadian citizenship, is being charged under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with being a danger to the security of Canada, Farooq said. He faces deportation.
Farooq, who has defended other clients on terrorism-related charges, said he has received numerous calls from people who have been contacted by police and intelligence since the attacks last week that killed one soldier in Ottawa and another in Quebec.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) declined to comment. The Globe and Mail newspaper was first to report on Ansari's arrest.
"People are petrified," Farooq said. "Since the attacks, the RCMP really seems to be out in force."
An official at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario, where Ansari is being held, said Ansari would face an immigration hearing there on Friday.
Ansari surrendered 10 firearms to authorities last year, including rifles and several handguns as part of a plea bargain to obtain a conditional discharge on charges of illegally storing lawfully acquired firearms. Those proceedings did not include allegations of terrorism, the lawyer who represented him in that case, Ed Burlew, told Reuters. Continued...