MONTREAL (Feb. 24)
Immigration Minister Benoit Bouchard announced Wednesday that the government will continue deportation proceedings against convicted Palestinian terrorist Mohammed Mahmoud Issa, who entered Canada a year ago with an immigrant visa he obtained under false pretenses.
Issa is due to appear before a federal court in Ottawa next Monday for a hearing. But for a time Tuesday, his deportation had seemed moot.
Instead of showing up at immigration court in Hamilton, Ontario, as scheduled, Issa declared he was leaving Canada voluntarily and he and his family boarded a flight to Algeria.
But when the plane landed in London, British authorities told him he could not proceed because he lacked the documents for entering Algeria, a fact confirmed by the Algerian Embassy in Ottawa. Issa was put aboard a flight back to Canada. He was not taken into custody when he landed.
Issa evaded arrest when he arrived at Toronto airport in February 1987 even though immigration authorities had been alerted that the visa he obtained from the Canadian consulate in Madrid a month before had been invalidated because of what was subsequently learned about Issa’s past.
He was, and possibly still is, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group headed by George Habash, now based in Syria.
Issa was convicted in Greece for the 1968 bombing of an Israeli airliner at Athens airport in which one man was killed.
In 1970, a Greek court sentenced him to 17 years, five months in prison. He was released a year later in a hostage exchange and deported to Lebanon.