Canada is not a haven for retired terrorists, a government lawyer said at a deportation hearing for a former high-level member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It is not in Canada’s national interest to “provide haven for retired
terrorists or retired members of a terrorist organization,” Defense Department lawyer Jamie Todd said Tuesday in federal court, as he explained why the
government is seeking to deport Issam al-Yamani.
Yamani, who once served as secretary to the head of the PFLP,
has been in Canada for 22 years and been engaged in a long legal battle to
stay in Canada. He said he was not “a sleeper cell or a retired terrorist” and
that he was insulted by such allegations. “It is all a fabrication,” he said.
Yamani acknowledged his PFLP membership, but argued that it was a political association protected under Canada’s Charter of Rights and
Freedoms. Canada put the PFLP on its list of terrorist entities in 2003.