"Toronto 18" bomb plotter sentenced to 7 years

Fri Oct 2, 2009 2:43pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - "Toronto 18" member Mohamed Dirie was sentenced to seven years in jail on Friday for his role in a plot to bomb Toronto landmarks in 2006, the second member of the group to be given jail time.

Dirie pleaded guilty last week to "participating in the activities of a terrorist group."

He was one of 14 men and four youths charged following a police sting in 2006 in which members of the group allegedly tried to buy explosives to set off truck bombs at major Toronto landmarks.

Dirie was already in custody on a weapons charge when the police sting took place.

In a Toronto-area court, Dirie was given five years credit for time already spent in custody, and so will spend another two years behind bars, said Nathalie Houle, a spokeswoman for Canada's public prosecutor.

Since the arrests, seven members of the group have had their charges dropped, while four have now either admitted guilt or have been convicted.

Last month, Saad Khalid was sentenced to 14 years for his role in the group, with seven years credit given for time served. One of the youths -- who was a minor at the time -- pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to time served.

Saad Gaya pleaded guilty last week to plotting to cause an explosion that was likely to cause serious bodily harm or death. He has yet to be sentenced.

Trials for the remaining seven have yet to begin.

The case has been seen as a test case for Canadian anti-terrorism laws introduced in 2001.

(Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)