Who is Omar Khadr?

News 9 July, 2017
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    Étienne Paré

    Sunday, 9 July, 2017 15:30

    Sunday, 9 July, 2017 15:30

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    Child-soldier for some, terrorist to others, who is thus the one who hopes to remake his life, pocketing $ 10 million that will pay the canadian government to compensate him for the time he spent in Guantanamo?

    Born in 1986 in Toronto, Omar Khadr is high according to the principles of islam rigorist. Movies, music and everything that is regarded as an american influence are seen in a bad light. His mother and sister wear the integral veil. Jihad is encouraged.

    In the 90s, his family moved to Pakistan. His father, Ahmed, has been imprisoned in 1995. The pakistani authorities suspected him of being linked to a bomb attack committed against the egyptian embassy in Islamabad.

    The liberal government of Jean Chrétien, then reached for the release. It is only after that we learned that Ahmed Khadr was a close friend of Osama Bin Laden, the two families shared the same house in Pakistan. What we nicknamed “the effect Khadr” explains, may be, in part, the reluctance of the Harper Government to release his son a few years later.


    When he was 11 years old, Omar Khadr was forced to go to Afghanistan to participate in the training camp of Al-Qaeda, like that of his brothers. One of them, Abdullah, will also be held at Guantanamo from 2004 to 2005. Another, Abdurahman, claims to have been an agent-double of the CIA during this period.

    Omar, himself, is accused of having perpetrated a grenade attack that killed the american sergeant, Christopher Speer in 2002. He did so, barely 15 years old when began his stay at the notorious american prison of Guantanamo Bay.

    There, he will be tortured, humiliated and threatened with rape. Amnesty International launches several campaigns to be extradited to Canada. All will face the systematic refusal of the conservative government, which ignored the recommendations of the courts.

    In 2010, Omar Khadr, who had always proclaimed his innocence, pleaded guilty to avoid spending the next 40 years behind bars. He will eventually be sentenced to five years in prison, but will serve his sentence in Canada from 2012.

    A new start ?

    Released for 2015, it now turn the page and aspires to a normal life. In an interview with the CBC this week, he claimed to have had some contact with his family since his release from prison. His mother and sister, who still live in Toronto, have never made any secret of their sympathy for Al-Qaeda.