A Canadian who went abroad for terrorist training maintained contact with terrorists in Iran while planning an attack at home, according to a recently released report from the Canadian government.
"The individual had left Canada to participate in ... firearms and explosives training at a camp in Afghanistan," the report said in a section that focused on extremist travelers. "He swore an oath of loyalty to al-Qaida and the Taliban and returned to Canada with the expertise and intent to train, finance and equip a terrorist cell in Ottawa."
"He also maintained contact with terrorists in Iran and Afghanistan while working to recruit other men and raise money to finance a proposed attack," the report continued.
The individual, whose description closely matches that of Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, was arrested in 2010. In 2014, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison for "possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property for the benefit of a terrorist group."
That year, Canada recorded 130 cases of individuals who had gone abroad for terrorism training and other related activity, many to Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. The number grew to 180 in 2015.
"As of the end of 2015, the Government of Canada knew of about 60 extremist travellers who had returned to Canada," the report said. "They may have skills, experience and relationships developed abroad that could be used to recruit or inspire individuals in Canada. They may also engage in terrorist financing, helping others to travel, or even planning attacks in Canada."
The U.S. State Department in June designated Iran as the world's "foremost state sponsor of terrorism." The Islamic Republic provides "a range of support, including financial, training, and equipment, to groups around the world."