Update November 13th: He has been released from custody, here. Will have more later.
Vancouver seems to have more than its fair share of possible terrorists sneaking across the border. First, we heard about the Sri Lankan ship that came ashore with “refugees” and now we hear about a mysterious ‘American’ who was stopped while coming across the border into Canada with nearly $1 million in GOLD.
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Paranoia and naivete led a Syrian man to lie about why he was crossing the border with nearly $1 million in gold and what’s been called “terrorist resources,” says the lawyer for the man who has been held as a potential security threat since early last month.
Khaled Nawaya, a flight instructor, was arrested by Canada Border Services agents when they found $800,000 in gold coins and other currency in his car and pockets on Oct. 6, as he crossed into Surrey, B.C., near Vancouver.
“He didn’t want to be taxed on it,” lawyer Phil Rankin said Tuesday.
The Saudi-born would-be immigrant to Canada holds Syrian citizenship, but had been in the US since he was 17. Besides the illegal amount of cash and gold he was carrying he had a few other suspicious items in his possession.
…. his actions, along with other politically-charged items found in his vehicle, are now being used by government officials to build a case depicting him as a national security threat.
The 35-year-old faces the Immigration and Refugee Board on Thursday to learn whether authorities have grounds to keep him in custody
He’d been living in the U.S. since he was 17 and had gained approval for permanent residency in Canada.
Besides the gold, Canadian agents found a ring bearing the insignia of Hezbollah, which has been listed as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government since 2002.
They also seized 9/11 conspiracy theory-themed DVDs and a scarf adorned with the images of a former Israeli prime minister and a U.S. president depicted as monkeys.
His lawyer says the items are easily explainable. Read the whole article for the explanations! The lawyer concludes:
“I think they’re [he and his brother in America] probably sympathetic to what’s going on in the Middle East,” he said, but that’s no indication of “sinister” activity.
Oh, and did you notice, he is a flight instructor. Me thinks this lawyer has an uphill battle.