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Jamal Akal, 23
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called the allegations of torture
"totally unfounded and false." Even
AkaFs lawyer, Jamil Al-Qhateb,
acknowledged that his client had
met with Wahabe and received mili-
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According to the Israeli statement,
Wahabe urged Akal to raise money
in Canadian mosques "ostensibly for
the family of suicide bombers,
which he would actually use for
purchasing a weapon and financing
his expenses in monitoring his
prospective targets and in perpetrat-
ing the attacks."
A former student of the University
of Windsor in Ontario, Akal lives in
Windsor. His family and lawyer
claim that he went to Israel solely
for the purpose of finding a wife.
He was arrested in Israel on Nov. 1.
According to Al-Qhateb, Akal
faces charges of conspiracy and mili-
Akal's arrest "prevented a terrorist
attack," the Israeli statement
Some fear Akal's reported recruit-
ment indicates that Hamas is
expanding its terrorist war against
Israel to include targets outside the
Middle East. "Hamas has operated
in Jordan, and we know that it has
sympathizers and operatives all over
the world," said Ofir Gendelman, a
spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy
in Ottawa. "But this is the first time
that we know of that Hamas is
going to carry out terrorist attacks
in North America."
Because of the singularity of an
attack abroad, Akal was set to
deflect responsibility for the attack
from Hamas by attributing it to Al
Qaida, the Israeli statement said.
After the bombing of a Tel Aviv
pub last April by terrorists holding
British passports, Israeli security
services have heightened their
scrutiny of foreigners whom Hamas
may have recruited.
Canada's Foreign Ministry initially
seemed angry after the Israeli
Embassy revealed details of Akal's
confession late last week to a
Canadian newspaper. When the
story appeared on the front page of
the National Post, Foreign Ministry
spokesman Reynald Doiron
announced that Israeli Ambassador
Haim Divon would be reprimanded
for divulging details about a
Canadian's alleged criminal activities
before they had been established as
fact in a courtroom.
"We're going to tell him that the
comments made by him and other
people at his embassy are inappro-
priate," Doiron said Dec. 5.
The next day, however, Foreign
Minister Bill Graham softened the
government's stand, apologizing that
his office had given the impression
that Divon was due for a reprimand.
Keith Landy, national president of
the Canadian Jewish Congress,
expressed concern about the poten-
tial expansion of Hamas' terrorist
activities into North America and
said the CJC consults with
Canadian security and police forces
on a constant basis.
The CJC long has urged the gov-
ernment to tighten border controls
to prevent admitting "those who
seek to come into this country to
harm its citizens," Landy said.
"It's important that we don't need-
lessly raise alarms but we need to be
constantly vigilant, and that's a bal-
ance that we need to strike," he
Akal's apparent recruitment into
Hamas "demonstrates to us that ter-
rorism has no borders and everyone
is threatened by it," Gendelman
said. "They will hit wherever they
can and it's everyone's job to stop
Akal will go on trial in several
weeks, he said.