Canadian police have confirmed that an Egyptian man with suspected ties to violent Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East has been detained as a security risk.
Mahmoud Gaballah, a teacher from Egypt who has requested refugee status in Canada for himself and his family, was arrested six weeks ago by Canadian authorities, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on May 13.
"He was arrested on March 31 by the immigration task force under section 40.1 of the Immigration Act [inadmissible class] because of his links," RCMP Sergeant David Mabee told Reuters.
Gaballah remains in custody in Toronto. Implicated but later cleared of complicity in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Gaballah was arrested and detained numerous times by Egyptian police in the 80s.
He was questioned as a possible suspect in a ring of political assassinations that have been linked to Muslim fundamentalists.
Gaballah, who traveled to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen and Azerbaijan before coming to Canada in May 1996, has insisted in an affidavit to a Canadian refugee tribunal that he was a "devout Muslim" persecuted by the Egyptian government.
Gaballah’s request to remain in Canada was rejected in March after the tribunal found that the claims of persecution in Egypt lacked credibility. Gaballah is appealing the decision.