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Toronto man charged for alleged ISIS recruitment, fundraising campaign: RCMP

A Toronto man has been arrested and charged with terrorism offences for allegedly helping to recruit and fundraise for the Islamic State, the RCMP said Friday.

The charges against Khalilullah Yousuf come months after he was charged with similar offences in the United States for allegedly providing financial support to the terrorist organization.

According to a statement from the RCMP, who say they have been investigating Yousuf since March 2021, the 34-year-old allegedly “made and disseminated pro-Islamic State propaganda on social media for the purposes of radicalizing and recruiting people” to join the group.

Investigators also allege Yousuf conspired with an overseas Islamic State member to “commit terrorist attacks against foreign embassies in Afghanistan,” and provided propaganda and research for similar attacks in that country.

Yousuf faces one count each of facilitating terrorist activity, participating in terrorist group activity, and providing or making available property and services for terrorist purposes.

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Click to play video: 'Toronto man who tried to join ISIS was freed a month after his release was declared an ‘undue risk’'

Toronto man who tried to join ISIS was freed a month after his release was declared an ‘undue risk’

The facilitation charge carried a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Yousuf faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on each of the other two charges.

The RCMP says Yousuf remains in custody pending a future court appearance.

Last December, Yousuf and three Americans were arrested and charged in connection with an alleged scheme that posted links seeking donations for purported humanitarian causes, only to distribute the funds to Islamic State fighters.

According to the FBI and U.S. prosecutors in New York, Yousuf and others collected cryptocurrencies, GoFundMe donations and PayPal funds through a crowdfunding network, while discussing their fundraising plans on an encrypted social media messaging service with other Islamic State supporters.

The indictment alleges Yousuf alone contributed more than US$20,000 to a Bitcoin wallet as part of the scheme, and created several fake GoFundMe accounts that raised tens of thousands of dollars.

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Yousuf and the other three defendants are awaiting trial in that case.

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