A Canadian jury found a woman guilty Thursday of terror crimes for trying to join the Islamic State group and in its name attacking staff at a Toronto-area department store two years ago.
Rehab Dughmosh, who was arrested in June 2017 when she was 32, was found guilty of four counts of leaving the country for the purpose of joining a terror group, assaults with a golf club and a butcher knife, and carrying an archery bow.
According to court documents cited by Canadian media, she attempted to fly to Syria in April 2016 to join the IS group, and when that failed returned home and plotted the mall attack.
Police later found the weapons cache at her home, along with a cellphone containing IS propaganda videos and a handwritten will in which she asked for martyrdom.
Her plans to go to Syria were thwarted by Turkish officials tipped off by her brother. At the time, Dughmosh claimed that she was just trying to visit family, although she admitted after her arrest that she had intended to travel to join IS.
The court heard that Dughmosh admitted to pledging her allegiance to the Islamic State group, and on the day in question packed bags with weapons, including a hammer, barbecue skewers, straws tipped with screws and a child’s shovel made into claws.
She also hid the knife and bow in her robe. But on her way out of her apartment, she ran into her estranged husband, who confiscated the bags. He reportedly did not know about the concealed weapons.
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At the Canadian Tire store east of Toronto, Dughmosh grabbed a golf club off a rack after trying unsuccessfully to access arrows in a locked display case.
She then draped herself in a homemade IS banner, tied an IS bandana around her head and charged staff with the golf club and butcher knife, shouting: “This is for ISIS.”
Staff wrestled her to the ground. Nobody was seriously injured. Police later found the weapons cache at her home, along with a cellphone containing IS propaganda videos and a handwritten will in which she asked for martyrdom.
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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday. The prosecution is seeking eight years in prison.
© Agence France-Presse