“Canadian Idol” contestant appears in court on terrorism charge

Friday, August 27, 2010

“Canadian Idol” terror suspect in court

OTTAWA, Ontario — A terror suspect who appeared on the TV show “Canadian Idol” made a brief court appearance on Friday, and police said they arrested a fourth man in an alleged plot to build bombs.

The “Idol” contestant, Dr. Khurram Syed Sher, 28, is charged with conspiracy to facilitate terrorist activity. Police said they seized 50 circuit boards intended for use in remotely detonated bombs. Two other men allegedly involved in the plot had appeared in court on Thursday.

Sher appeared on the reality show in 2008 singing a comical version of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” complete with dance moves that included a moonwalk.

The bearded father of three, a pathologist in Ontario, appeared nervous during his Friday court appearance. He was ordered to appear again before the court on Sept. 1 via video feed.

Lawyer Anser Farooq told reporters outside the courtroom his client had just been flown to Ottawa on a federal police aircraft and was anxious to return to his family.

“He’s OK. I mean, he’s just been brought over, separated from his family,” Farooq said. “We’re hoping to address the main concern, which is getting into the court and hear the concerns (prosecution) has, and get him back to his family as soon as possible.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Marc Menard said the fourth person arrested has not yet been charged. Police did not give his name but confirmed the arrest was part of an investigation that began last September known as “Project Samossa.”

Police said the three suspects already charged had been working together since February 2008 and alleged that they conspired to “knowingly facilitate terrorist activities” in Canada and abroad. Police said the plot ranged from Canada to Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan, but did not elaborate.

Police said they moved in on the men to prevent them from sending money to terror groups in Afghanistan.

The others charged are Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, of Ottawa.

Ahmed is an X-ray technician at an Ottawa hospital.

Alizadeh studied English as an additional language and electrical engineering technology at Red River College in Winnipeg.

All those arrested are Canadian citizens.

will not be displayed