TORONTO, Canada (PIX11) – The Toronto-born man who gave up his extremist views to infiltrate a terror cell for the Canadian government told PIX 11 News that back on September 11, 2001, “I actually did celebrate the attacks.”
But Mubin Shaikh, now 38 and a married father of five, said he changed his views, when he moved to Syria. “Syria, at that point, even now, it was a real police state. It opened my eyes to the reality of how really good we have it in the west.”
By the time Shaikh returned to Canada in 2004, he was recruited by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, C-SIS, agreeing to work as an undercover operative and even infiltrating a suspected terror cell in Toronto.
Shaikh told us he went to a training camp in the Ontario woods with the group in the winter of 2005.
“They started to re-enact the jihadi videos they saw,” Shaikh told PIX 11. “They were saying, ‘Look at what’s happening in Iraq, look what’s happening in Afghanistan, we need to do something about it.” Shaikh recorded video of the group’s maneuvers.
By June 2006, Canadian authorities had rounded up eighteen suspects in a case that became known as the Toronto 18. Most were accused of plotting to bomb Canadian landmarks and businesses, including the Toronto Stock Exchange. 11 of the 18 suspects have been convicted, so far.
“I actually refused witness protection,” Shaikh told PIX 11. “I was born and raised here. I’m not going anywhere.”