Fateh Kamel

An Algerian-Canadian, Fateh Kamel was arrested in 1999 on charges of supporting a terrorist plot against attacks against French targets in Paris, and was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.

Fateh Kamel
El Harrach, Algeria[1]
PenaltyEight years imprisonment
StatusReleased early for good behaviour

He was released early for good behaviour, and returned to Canada.

Early lifeEdit

Kamel is believed to have fought the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and moved to Canada in 1987[1] or 1988.[2]

He married a schoolteacher in Quebec, and was granted Canadian citizenship in 1993,[1][3] and owned the Artisanat Nord-Sud Craft Store in Montreal.[4]

In the Bosnian War, he was injured in the foot while fighting in Bosnia.[5]Evan Kohlmann has suggested that he served as third-in-command of a Zenica mujahideen battalion during 1995 under Abdelkader Mokhtari.[6]

Described as possessing a "slick, polished exterior" and "especially handsome",[5][7] he traveled between Milan, Montreal, Paris, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Zagreb, Bosnia, Copenhagen, Australia, Slovenia, Freibourg, Morocco, Acone, Istanbul, Belgium and Amsterdam over a period of three years from 1994-97.[5]

In 1996, he stated to friends that he would "prefer to die than go to jail", speaking of how he almost lost his wife and newborn son.[5] When authorities pursued French militant Christophe Caze, it was discovered that his address book contained the contact information of Kamel.[8]

Returning to Canada, he is alleged to have led a group of radical Montreal Islamists, including Ahmed Ressam.[9] In 1991 he is believed to have attended an Afghan training camp, and returned to Montreal where he stole money and identity documents to support his group's plans to bomb Parisian metro stations,[4] and a series of attacks in the city of Roubaix.[3][9]


He was arrested in Jordan in March 1999, and extradited to France, where he was convicted and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for providing false passports in support of terrorism.[3][6]

After his early release from prison for good behaviour, he returned to Montreal in January 2005, where he was living with his wife and son until Canada brought deportation orders against him.[9]

Return to CanadaEdit

Kamel returned to Canada on January 29, 2005. Conservative Public Safety critic Peter MacKay urged the government to revoke his citizenship and deport the "bad dude" to Algeria.[1][10] Some critics alleged he was being allowed to return simply to allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to track his movements to discover future plots.[11]

Five months after returning to Canada, Kamel applied for a passport explaining that he needed to fly to Thailand on a business trip. On November 30, Pierre Pettigrew wrote an internal memo suggesting the application be denied. The Harper government exercised Royal prerogative when it denied Kamel a new passport.[12][13] In March 2008, Federal Court justice Simon Noel ruled that this had infringed Kamel's rights under the Canadian Charter.[3]

However, the ruling was set aside by the Federal Court of Appeal in January 2009 in which the court unanimously agreed the denial of passport on national security ground is justified, despite the arguments of lawyer Johanne Doyon.[2][14] Kamel launched an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada but the court declined to hear his case and thus ends the legality challenge of the Canadian Passport Order.[15]

In 2010, Kamel attempted to re-apply for a Canadian Passport but was once again refused by the Minister on grounds of national security. He sought judicial review but was dismissed by the Federal Court and subsequently, by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2013.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d Bell, Stewart. National Post, "Terrorist Returns", February 26, 2005
  2. ^ a b CNEWS, No passport for terrorist, court rules Archived January 31, 2009, at Archive.today, January 29, 2009
  3. ^ a b c d Hamilton, Graeme (March 13, 2008). "Passport Order infringes rights of former terrorist: court". National Post. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Williams, Paul L. "Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror", 2002
  5. ^ a b c d Kohlmann, Evan. "Al-Qaida's Jihad in Europe", p. 186
  6. ^ a b Kohlmann, Evan. Global Terror Alert, Abu el-Maali Archived 2009-02-10 at the Wayback Machine, 2005
  7. ^ Randal, Jonathan C. "Osama", p. 176
  8. ^ Deliso, Christopher. "The Coming Balkan Caliphate", p. 11
  9. ^ a b c MacLeon, Ian. Ottawa Citizen, "The warning lights were all blinking red Archived 2008-09-25 at the Wayback Machine", February 23, 2008
  10. ^ Mitchell, Bob. Toronto Star, "Fateh Kamel returns after four years in French prison", February 27, 2005
  11. ^ Kupferberg, Chaim. Online Journal, Fateh Kamel: Seeding the Evidentiary Trail for the next 9/11? Archived 2008-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, November 4, 2005
  12. ^ Jordan Press (2014-10-31). "The power to fight terrorism: What's already on the books". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2016-08-14. How often it has done this is a mystery: The best-known instances are for Abdurahman Khadr, the older brother of Omar Khadr, and Fateh Kamel. When asked, Citizenship and Immigration Canada refused to say how many passports the government has revoked in the past two years, citing national security issues.
  13. ^ Stewart Bell (2012-11-15). "Comments on homosexuality led to six-month delay renewing my passport: controversial Canadian imam". National Post.
  14. ^ Canada (Procureur général)c. Kamel 2009 CAF 21
  15. ^ Convicted terrorist won't get Canadian passport
  16. ^ Kamel v. Canada (Attorney General)