An Ottawa man targeted in a terrorism investigation will be held in jail on unrelated assault charges until at least Tuesday.
Aswo Peshdary, 20, was arrested by the RCMP on assault charges on Friday. He appeared in court Saturday and was released on bail, then was promptly arrested again on similar charges by the Ottawa Police. He appeared in court again on Sunday. A full bail hearing is slated for Tuesday. A publication ban covers weekend proceedings.
Sources say that Mr. Peshdary, who works at a call centre, is an associate of the three men arrested on terrorism charges last week. A lengthy police interview took place before police laid the lesser charges against him.
Richard Morris, counsel for Mr. Peshdary, speculated that authorities are likely dragging things out so they can continue probing his client in relation to the terror investigation.
"Normally one would be held on charges that exist, not on charges they hope to lay some time in the future," Mr. Morris said after a court hearing Sunday.
"Frankly, my client would rather not be charged at all, but if the RCMP have something to bring forward they should."
Last week police made a series of arrests after a year-long investigation targeting an alleged international conspiracy. Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, both of Ottawa and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ont., have been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act. The RCMP says it seized 50 electronic circuit boards supposedly designed to be remote detonators for explosive devices, and stopped a bid to raise funds for terror groups abroad.
A couple of years ago, Mr. Peshdary appears to have written the following post on the Muslima.com dating service: "I am 18 years old, [in]my last year of high school and inshallah [God willing]university after that to become a teacher … I am very stuck to my deen (Islam)."
The post continued: "I am looking for a special lady who first of all is a dedicated Muslim … one who will raise my children according to Islam, and who will be my companion to the afterlife Inshallah."
The investigation continues.
With a report from Canadian Press