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Canadian man who tried to join ISIS released from prison four month after sentenced, official says

Pamir Hakimzadah, 30, pleaded guilty in February to leaving Canada to join ISIS. (Global News)

In an attempt to join Islamic ISIS terrorists in Syria, a Canadian man who stated “all non-Muslims should be killed,” was sentenced to over four years in prison on April 4. But an official said on Wednesday, June 28, that he has been released after serving four months of his sentence.

Pamir Hakimzadah, 30, was charged with terrorism in April 2017 following what the RCMP called an “extensive” national security investigation. He pleaded guilty in early February to one count of leaving Canada to participate in terrorist activity and has now been freed from a maximum-security prison in Penetanguishene, Ontario, after completing his sentence, said Andrew Morrison, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Hakimzadah must now serve three years on probation, during which time he must participate in de-radicalization.

He is also prohibited from possessing a firearm for three years, cannot obtain a passport and must undergo psychotherapy and meet weekly with an imam from the Risalah Foundation, according to Global News

Hakimzadah, a former engineering student, told his family in September 2014 that he wanted to go to Montreal to spend time with friends for a few weeks, according to an agreed statement of facts. 

Before leaving home, Hakimzadah had displayed increasingly radical views, and had begun reading about the ISIS terrorists and watching their propaganda videos, the court heard.

He later admitted to his parents that he tried to join the terrorist group. He was arrested on June 27, 2016, four days after arriving in Istanbul. A taxi driver who thought he was trying to go to Syria to join ISIS turned him over to the police. He was banned from Turkey for a year and in mid-November, authorities sent him back to Canada without notification of Canada authorities, according to CTV News Toronto

At court on Feb. 28, Hakimzadah was sentenced to jail for four years and one month, plus three years probation. After receiving credit for time already spent in custody, he will spend six more months behind bars but is eligible to apply for parole in three months.

The judge said there were many other factors in Hakimzadah’s favor that helped lower the sentence. One includes he didn’t end up joining Islamic militants and his commitment to participating in a deradicalization program. Another is Hakimzadah said took full responsibility for his actions.

“I want you to know I will absolutely abide by any sentence that court imposes on me,” Hakimzadah told the court on Thursday. “I look forward to being reunited with my family.”

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