a Canadian Minor with Mental Illness

  • was entrapped by FBI with help from RCMP knowing he was a minor with bipolar disorder, substance abuse and depression
  • was denied his choice of legal counsel and pressured to plead guilty
  • was sentenced to 40 years and is detained in solitary confinement

en·trap·ment : when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a crime that they would otherwise have been unlikely or unwilling to commit.

was a minor

when we was pulled into online chat groups

suffers from bipolar disorder

substance abuse, depression, and was being treated by CAMH

was entrapped by the FBI

with the help of the RCMP, knowing he was vulnerable from his his mental illness

was denied his own legal counsel

and his appointed public defender pressured him to plead guilty

was sentenced to 40 years

after being denied representation of his choice and no consideration of his age and mental illness.

Urge
PM Justin Trudeau To Bring Abdulrahman Home

Canada has failed to protect one of its citizens – a minor with mental health issues – and is responsible to bring Abdulrahman back home.

How You Can Help

Submit a complaint to the Prime Minister's Privy Council
The top elected official of Canada, the Honorable Justin Trudeau, should know about the tragedy of Abdulrahman’s case and do his utmost to bring him back home. Abdulrahman does not belong in prison. At the very least, he should serve his time in Canada where he would be supported by his family, community and mental health services.

Click HERE for the Privy’s Council Office contact information.

Submit a letter to NSIRA
The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) is currently reviewing the complaint before further investigation of the case. Let NSIRA know that the public do not agree with the actions taken by the RCMP and that NSIRA should review this case.
Call/Mail Your Member of Parliament
Call or mail your Member of Parliament and let them know about Abdulrahman’s case. Abdulrahman needs the support of elected officials to spread awareness of his situation and to take action in bringing him back to Canada. Click HERE to find your Member of Parliament.
Call/Mail Key Ministers
Beyond your respective Member of Parliament, you can also call or mail important and relevant Ministers that can help bring Abdulrahman home.

Contact:

The Honourable Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, HERE

MP Joel Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, HERE

Share Abdulrahman's Story on Social Media
Abdulrahman needs his voice to be understood correctly by the public. Share his story online and support Abdulrahman by using #BringAbdulHome. Showcase and disseminate this webiste online. Let’s spread this awareness and  campaign.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Write a Letter to Your Local Newspaper Editor
A simple but effective action is to contact your local newspaper editor so that Abdulrahman’s story can be heard by the community. An increase in local awareness of and exposure to Abdulrahman’s story is a stepping stone for national and international recognition of his plight.

Campaign Updates

Was Abdulrahman really a 17-year-old Time Square Terrorist?


Everything about Abdulrahman’s story challenges the essence of the prosecution’s case and the media narrative.

 

  1. Who was he? Abdulrahman was a 17 year old minor and had no criminal or violent history. He suffered from bipolar disorder, depression, and substance abuse. He was a patient at CAMH.
  2. How did this start? When Abdulrahman was working on a school project about Islamic history and Caliphates, he stumbled across online group chats with extremists. According to doctors, Abdulrahman’s most consistent tendency was to fixate compulsively on certain topics.
  3. Who influenced him? He was influenced and instructed by undercover FBI law enforcement. Abdulrahman was indoctrinated and taken advantage of to conspire on a bomb plot in New York. The FBI and the RCMP knew he had mental disorder as they accessed his CAMH files.
  4. Could he possible have planned a terrorist attack? Abdulrahman was not willing and had no disposition to commit the crime. The undercover law enforcement designed the plot, walked him through simple actions that collecively could be prosecuted as conspiracy. Essentiallty the FBI agent influenced Abdulrahman into committing a crime that he would not have done otherwise.
  5. But why did he go to the United States? He had no means to travel to the United States by himself. His parents stored his passport. He did not own a drivers license. His parents decided to go on a family vacation as they waited for his delayed appointment with a Canadian psychologist.

“What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.

This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate.”

Dennis Edney

Defense Team Lead

What you need to know about Abdulrahman

His Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse Was Why He Was Targeted

 

Abdulrahman suffered from severe bipolar disorder which is a physical illness that affects the brain. He was diagnosed with mania (wired thinking and behaviors that negatively affect one’s ability to function).

His disorder included episodes of depression. It caused him to fixate compulsively on certain topics, referred to it as ‘looping’: when the brain circles back to an idea repeatedly. This symptom led Abdulrahman to online chat groups and eventually his entrapment.

He was Entrapped by FBI with Help from RCMP knowing he was Suffering from Bipolar Disorder

 

While his mental illness was at a standstill, his psychiatric and addiction history left Abdulrahman vulnerable to being radicalized and entrapped. He immersed himself in a chat room, unaware he was being targeted by undercover FBI agents posing as ISIS recruiters. The agents engaged Abdulrahman in radical discussions and instructed him through steps to ship simple materials that could be used to prosecute him for conspiracy of terrorism.

His trial had Serious Due Process Violations and his Case Is Being Appealed For Reversal

 

On November 14, 2019, Abdulrahman’s lawyers appealed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York’s conviction upon his plea of guilty to the 7 charges that led to Judge Berman’s 40-year imprisonment sentence.

The appeal argues against the Court’s dismissal of Abdulrahman’s choice of representation and the unreasonable sentence of 40 years without any consideration for his mental disorder.

US: Terrorism Prosecutions Often An Illusion

“Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US.”

“But take a closer look and you realize that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.”

Andrea Prasow

Deputy Washington Director, Human Rights Watch

of 40 years in Solitary Confinement

Drive for his parents to visit him

Bring Abdulrahman Home to His Mom

Expert/Community Testimonials

It was unusual how the case was revealed since Abdulrahman’s indictment was kept secret for a year, “Certainly it’s a different type of system there [American] in a sense that it sounds like this gentleman was arrested a year ago and they sealed all aspects of that,” and “It would be quite unusual that we wouldn’t hear anything about an arrest or anything like that for this period of time.”
Michael Shapray

Legal Analyst, Vancouver

“At no time was the safety or security of the public at risk.”
RCMP Statement

Abdul was a dear friend of mine. We met in CAMH, and continued our friendship right up until I was admitted again. When I was discharged, I tried to find him to talk to him, but I couldn’t get ahold of him. I saw on the news what had happened. Abdul is a wonderful man who needs help, not to be forgotten in a cell. He comforted me in my darkest hour, and I wish I could find a way to help him. Abdul is not a monster, he is a human, and was a child when this all happened. I’ve been following his story very closely, and the most important thing I can see about his case is that this man needs to be near his family. The Canadian Government needs to fight harder to get our citizen back. Abdul needs our support. To Abdul‘s family: you are in my thoughts every day, as is your son. This is not justice, this is corruption.

Phebe Palmer

Abdulrahman's friend at CAMH

“Sending the case to be reviewed by NSIRA was absolutely the right move,” and “NSIRA will have to decide if this was the correct policy to follow in its review.”
Stephanie Carvin

National security expert, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs

“If we helped those with mental illness more seriously, he wouldn’t be in this mess.” He added that El Bahnasawy was “the funniest guy you’ll ever meet” and got along with the other patients.
Mike Duran

Attended a youth rehabilitation program with El Bahnasawy

“It’s not that Canadian prisons are any paradise, but relatively speaking, you’re more likely to get some programs, some treatment, whether it’s for addiction or mental health.”
Mary Campbell

Former director general for corrections and criminal justice, Department of Public Safety

“Even a quick review of a handful of recent cases reveals Muslim men were charged with terrorism offences sometimes with tenuous or imagined connections to terror, while non-Muslim whites get a pass,”
Faisal Kutty

Lawyer, academic, writer, public speaker and human rights activist

Contact Us or Subscribe for Updates

"What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.

This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate."

Dennis Edney

Canadian Defence lawyer