Convicted ‘Toronto 18’ terrorist to become Canadian lawyer
In 2006, Saad Gaya-- and more than a dozen other radical Islamists— planned to detonate bombs throughout Toronto, Canada’s largest city. Blessedly, the plot was foiled in a national security operation. Gaya was arrested while unloading what he believed to be ammonium nitrate for making truck bombs. The al-Qaeda-inspired plot was purportedly to target the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Parliament, Canada’s spy agency, and a military base, among other venues. Gaya and his accomplices planned to take political hostages. And behead various Canadian leaders including the Prime Minister.
In 2009, Gaya pleaded guilty to the commission of an offense for a terrorist group. He was sentenced to serve 18 years in prison. However, he was released on parole after only 10 years, finishing his sentence in 2020. Not bad for a guy that was involved with a plot to blow up bombs all over a metropolis of 6.2 million souls… and decapitate its leaders.
And today? The Law Society of Ontario has decided to allow the convicted terrorist to become a licensed lawyer! You read that right. How could this happen, a sane person might ask? Well, the Law Society’s Tribunal decided he was “presently of good character,” finding him eligible to become a lawyer based on its assessment of his remorse and conduct since his “offense.” The Tribunal stated, “Clients, and our society as a whole, will benefit from Mr. Gaya becoming a lawyer.” Well, I guess it’s preferable to him blowing up Toronto and beheading Canadian leaders.
Ironically, Gaya embarked on his legal career shortly after leaving prison, and recently graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. He is currently listed as an “articling student” with the firm St. Lawrence Barristers LLP. (Articling is a professional rite of passage for junior lawyers, a job akin to a practicum position. It's an opportunity for them to hone their skills before starting practice.)
Gaya is obviously a great guy who only briefly—and in his youth, mind you—flirted with blowing places up and beheading people. I mean, give him a break, it’s not like he walked through the Capitol Building or something.
Or misgendered someone. There oughta be a law!
For the good of society, let’s hope he doesn’t bomb as a lawyer.
Photo credit: YouTube screengrab