Othman Ayad Hamdan named Revelstoke dam as a potential terrorist target in a series of Facebook posts praising ISIS in 2015. (File photo)

Othman Ayad Hamdan named Revelstoke dam as a potential terrorist target in a series of Facebook posts praising ISIS in 2015. (File photo)

Man that named Revelstoke Dam as potential terrorist target may be released

Former refugee Othman Ayad Hamdan may be released to Enderby while awaiting deportation

A man who posted online naming the Revelstoke Dam as a potential terrorist target may soon be released from detainment while he awaits deportation.

Othman Ayed Hamdan was detained by Canada Border Services Agency in 2017 after sharing messages of support for ISIS online. He was deemed a “danger to the security of Canada” by the Immigration and Refugee Board.

If released, Hamdan said he would stay in Enderby with a friend. The town is roughly 100 km from Revelstoke and its dam.

The release would have 25 conditions, that could, according to the detention review transcripts, include a bond of $2,000, curfew between midnight and 6 a.m., no internet access or unaccompanied vehicle travel, no weapons, daily voice reports and in-person reporting to a RCMP office.

Enderby Mayor Greg McCune said Aug. 4 he was not given any notice by any government agency of Hamdan’s release and that Enderby was the preferred destination.

On Monday, Aug. 12, a hearing took place between the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Hamdan, and the Federal Court ruled Hamdan must remain in custody, pending the determination of the Minister’s application for leave and judicial review of the release order.

The decision was welcomed by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“While immigration detention is a last resort, it remains an essential tool for the protection of the health and safety of Canadians, and to maintain the security of Canadian society,” said Joelle Shelton, Western Canada communications advisor for CSBA.

McCune, on Aug. 14, was still extremely angry over the situation.

“It’s super frustrating,” he said. “I’m mostly disappointed in the process. I’m shocked we weren’t consulted and shocked the RCMP weren’t consulted.”

READ MORE: Deportation ordered for B.C. man who ‘glorified’ terrorism on Facebook

Immigration and Refugee board member Geoff Rempel ruled on Aug. 2 that it was not right to keep detaining Hamden and that he should be released.

“In my view, with appropriate conditions of release, he is not a danger to the public,” he said in the review documents.

However, the federal court later issued an interim stay of release and is currently reviewing the Immigration Division’s decision. There is no date given for when Hamdan would be deported.

In an interview with the CBC, former CSIS and RCMP operative Mubin Shaikh said Hamdan’s potential release is a serious situation.

“He should definitely not be released.”

Hamdan should remain in custody until deportation, he continued.

Mayor Gary Sulz of Revelstoke echoed those concerns.

“Why isn’t he just being deported?”

Sulz continued that there will have to be great trust in those monitoring him, including the RCMP, that they will not let Hamdan go near Revelstoke.

READ MORE: B.C. man cleared of terror charges is security risk: RCMP officer

Hamdan is a Jordanian national and moved to Canada from the U.S. in 2002 because of threats and was granted refugee protection in 2004.

In 2015, he was arrested in Fort St. John for 85 Facebook posts that promoted ISIS and praised lone wolf terrorist attacks, but was later acquitted of terror charges in a B.C. court.

At the time of the arrest, Const. Terak Mokdad told an immigration admissibility hearing that Hamdan was a security risk and that the translated Arabic posts clearly showed the man was becoming radicalized.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada then revoked his refugee status and Hamdan awaits deportation. Hamdan has argued that he was falsely accused of terrorism and has sued the B.C. and Canadian governments.

In an email response to Hamdan’s potential release, B.C. Hydro spokesperson Jen Walker-Larsen wrote, “We safely maintain and operate 79 dams at 41 locations around the province. We have extensive security systems and emergency management plans in place to monitor and respond to any threats. We are partnered with various government, law enforcement, intelligence agencies and other utilities who share information across Canada. We monitor this information and conduct real time risk assessments daily for all of our facilities to make sure they stay safe and secure.”

The reservoir behind the Revelstoke dam has a capacity of 1.5183 kilometres cubed, which would fill 607,320 Olympic-size swimming pools. It’s the second from the headwaters of 14 dams along the Columbia River and less than 10 km upstream of the nearest city–Revelstoke.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guy Barber in front of his jewellery store at 208 Mackenzie Avenue, circa 1915. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 272)
Glimspes of Revelstoke’s past for April 8

Local history as recorded by the newspaper of the time

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
LETTER: Finding Common Ground Through COVID-19

‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’

Alchemy Studio received a ticked from the RCMP on Thursday, April 8, for staying open despite provincial restrictions ordering yoga studios be closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

The Royal’s 1959 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Vernon’s BX Elementary School. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Second COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Exposure at Vernon’s BX Elementary happened April 6 and 7

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Most Read