Canada gives Toronto bombing plotter life sentence

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Toronto, Jan. 19 (ANI): A Canadian-origin man, who masterminded an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist plot to blow up Toronto targets, has been given life sentence in the stiffest punishment imposed to date under the country's antiterrorism laws.

Nearly the entire plan was hatched by Zakaria Amara, 24, Judge Durno said, whom he called the "directing mind of a plot that would have resulted in the most horrific crime Canada has ever seen."

Four years ago, Zakaria Amara, a university dropout, lived a secret life, pursuing a goal: bombing Canadian targets to force the government to end its military mission in Afghanistan, The Globe and Mail reports.

Amara will be eligible for parole in about six years, which will coincide with his 30th birthday. However, he must persuade authorities that he should regain his liberty.

Born to a Cypriot mother and Jordanian, Amara was baptized as a Christian. His family bounced around to several countries before immigrating to Canada.

In Toronto's suburbs, Amara steeped himself in fundamentalist Islam. After graduating high school, he dreamed of studying Islam in Medina. However, the Saudis denied him permission.

He married, and struggled at his job as Canadian Tire gas station attendant to support his newborn daughter.

A desire for escape, defence lawyers say, led Amara to reinvent himself. By 2006, his life began to revolve around building truck bombs.

According to court documents, he hoped to explode massive truck bombs on a busy weekday at 9 a.m. in November, 2006.

Amara, now, said at his sentencing hearing last week that he no longer holds extremist views. His lawyers submitted a psychiatric report saying he is very capable of changing, and maybe already has. (ANI)

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