Omar Khadr's sister Zaynab detained in Turkey
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Jan 31, 2016  |  Vote 0    0

Omar Khadr's sister Zaynab detained in Turkey

Zaynab Khadr was under investigation by the RCMP for terror-related offences before she moved to Turkey in 2012

OurWindsor.Ca

Zaynab Khadr, the outspoken sister of former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, is in custody in Turkey, the Star has learned.

It isn’t known whether she has been charged or is just being held.

Khadr had moved to Turkey around the time her younger brother Omar was transferred from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Canada in September 2012. She reportedly remarried and had two young children.

She and her mother, Maha Elsamnah, came under strong criticism in Canada for remarks they made for a March 2004 CBC documentary titled Al Qaeda Family.

They were living in Pakistan at the time and criticized what they considered to be Canada’s liberal laws. Elsamnah said she would rather raise her children to fight than live in Canada, where they could become homosexuals or addicted to drugs, earning her family the title of “Canadians of convenience.”

In 2005, Zaynab Khadr was under investigation for terrorism offences by the RCMP, but never charged.

It is not known if the Canadian-born Khadr is being held in Turkey for a criminal or immigration matter.

A spokesperson for the Department of Global Affairs said the federal government is aware a Canadian was detained in Turkey and that Canadian officials in Ankara, Turkey, are providing consular assistance.

The identity of the individual detained could not be released for privacy reasons, the spokesperson said. The Khadr family story spans more than two decades to 1995, when Khadr’s father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was arrested in connection with the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad.

In July 2002, Omar Khadr was taken into U.S. custody at the age of 15 following a firefight in Afghanistan. He was charged for the death of U.S. Delta Force Sgt. Christopher Speer, who was fatally wounded by a grenade in the battle.

He pleaded guilty in Guantanamo in October 2010, in return for an eight-year sentence and a chance to be transferred to a Canadian prison.

Once back in Canada, he said he believed pleading guilty was his only way out of Guantanamo, but did not know whether he actually threw the grenade that killed Speer.

Omar Khadr was released in May to live with his lawyer, Dennis Edney, and is now attending university in Edmonton and training to become a medic.

One of his bail conditions is that he cannot talk to his mother or sister unless Edney is present.

When asked about his family in an interview last year for the Star and a CBC documentary, Omar Khadr replied: “They have said things that was not very smart — that they shouldn’t have said. They’re very opinionated.

“I think that they are good people. (But) they haven’t been able to deal with the past and the present. They’re really struggling. Some of my siblings have completely cut off their pasts and some of them are living in the past and not accepting the present.”

Turkey has been under intense pressure to stop the flow of fighters across its border into Syria and is dealing with the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks, including the Jan. 12 suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed 12 and injured more than a dozen.

Civil rights groups have also criticized the government’s use of overly broad antiterrorism laws to detain thousands of activists and journalists.

Toronto Star

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(1) Comment

By DAVID | FEBRUARY 01, 2016 02:05 PM
And the bleeding hearts in this country think this family warrants our sympathy? As if. Wee Omar's sibling's apple didn't fall far from the family tree. I hope she enjoys her stay in a Turkish prison. Maybe wee Omar could pay a visit. And stay there.
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