Canada charges Alberta man in absentia with working for ISIS

Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:35pm EDT
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CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A man from Calgary thought to have left Canada to fight with Islamic State militants in Syria was charged in absentia on Thursday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with committing an indictable offense for a terrorist group.

Farah Mohamed Shirdon, 22, left Canada in March 2014 to join the group, also known as ISIS, according to police.

"Our investigation showed that Shirdon served in a combat role and performed other functions for ISIS such as recruiting, fundraising, encouraging others to commit violence, and spreading propaganda, all designed to enhance the activities of the ISIS," the RCMP said in a statement.

The RCMP said reports that Shirdon had been killed in Syria last year were erroneous, and a Canada-wide arrest warrant has been issued for him. Police said they would also issue an international wanted persons alert through Interpol.

Shirdon has been charged with several terrorism-related offenses, including leaving Canada to take part in the activity of a terrorist group, and one related to making threats towards Canada and the United States in an Islamic State video.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Toni Reinhold)