A man serving a prison sentence for his involvement in the the so-called “Toronto 18” bomb plot has been granted day parole.
Saad Gaya, now 28, is serving time after pleading guilty to participating in a plot to bomb three Toronto targets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, in protest of Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan.
The former McMaster University science student was arrested in 2006 while unloading a delivery truck filled with three tons of bags marked ammonium nitrate fertilizer. He was originally sentenced in 2010 to 12 years in prison, and an appeal court increased that to 18 years.
Gaya made headlines in October when the former Harper government threatened to revoke his Canadian citizenship, despite the fact he was born in Montreal.
On Wednesday, Gaya was denied full parole, but was granted up to six months of day parole, which will allow him to attend school and work in the community. But he must return to a community-based residential facility at night. According to the Parole Board of Canada decision, Gaya plans on pursuing a master’s degree.
Gaya’s day parole is subject to special conditions, including mandatory religious counseling from an Imam who is approved by Correctional Service of Canada. He is also prohibited from associating with people he knows or has reason to believe are involved in criminal activity, and cannot own or use a computer, or any device that can connect to the Internet.
The decision also says he must immediately report all contact with males to his parole officer.
In their written decision, the board says Gaya has shown remorse for his participation in the bomb plot, and has gained “tremendous insight” into his radicalization. They say that he has already assisted Muslim community groups in addressing the radicalization of youth.
The parole board says day parole is meant to prepare people serving sentences for full parole or statutory release.