A man convicted of terrorist offences following the high-profile takedown of a homegrown terror cell bent on wreaking havoc in Canada was sentenced Friday to 2 1/2 years in prison and walked free just hours later based on time already served.The lawyer says, "He's just a kid. He was playing terrorist."
The man, who cannot be named, was the first member of the so-called Toronto 18 found guilty in the plot, though his lawyer said his role was minimal at best.
"He's somebody who's essentially found guilty of shoplifting, somebody who went to a second (training) camp that was essentially benign," Mitchell Chernovsky said outside the court.
"He's somebody who's young, has no prior record, has a positive pre-sentence report.
"Maximum sentence for the offence is only 10 years."
The man was released from jail and was back home Friday after being sentenced. The release was based on credit for time served in custody before trial.
"He's very happy that it's over," Chernovsky said. "He's relieved to be out of jail."
In the summer of 2006, an extensive investigation involving Canada's spy agency and the RCMP ended with the arrests of 18 people in the Toronto area and the seizure of apparent bomb-making materials.
Police alleged the suspects planned to buy weapons and set off truck bombs using three tonnes of ammonium nitrate after holding two training camps in rural Ontario.
The case took a stunning turn when allegations surfaced that the ringleaders had talked about plans to storm Parliament, take MPs hostage and behead the prime minister.
The man sentenced Friday became the first of the group to be convicted after Ontario Superior Court Justice John Sproat found him guilty in September of helping and taking part in a terrorist organization - the first verdict under Canada's new anti-terrorism laws.
The government says, "Planning terrorism isn't THAT bad."
The media says, "Poor boy. He was hit once, and he had a hard time learning English. Boo hoo."
I'm sure Mark Steyn would be please to hear he had more hate and vitriol thrown at him for a book on demographics than this kid did for being part of a plot to wipe out Canadians, including the Prime Minister.