Canadian sentenced in bomb plot case: reports

Fri May 22, 2009 3:16pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A Toronto-area man convicted of belonging to a group plotting al Qaeda-inspired attacks on Canadian landmarks has been sentenced to 2-1/2 years in jail, the first sentence handed out in the so-called "Toronto 18" case, Canadian media reported on Friday.

The 21-year-old, who cannot be named as he was tried under youth justice laws, has already spent two years in custody and will likely be released on Friday due to credit for time already served, the Globe and Mail newspaper and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported.

One of 18 men and youths charged following a 2006 police sting, he was found guilty in an Ontario court last year of knowingly participating in a terrorist group.

Since the arrests, charges have been dropped against seven people, while one man pleaded guilty earlier this month to playing a role in the plot.

Police have alleged the group intended to bomb major landmarks including Toronto's CN Tower, the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

The case initially drew huge media attention as a test of anti-terrorism laws introduced in 2001, and as a lightning rod for criticism that Canada may be a breeding ground for terror cells that could pose a threat to the United States.

(Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)