Nearly two years ago, when police swooped down on an alleged Meadowvale-based terror cell, Mississauga’s Qayyum Abdul Jamal was portrayed as the firebrand ringleader seeking recruits for jihad.
Today, he says, he hopes to piece together a reputation left in tatters after being accused of belonging to a group of men and teens who allegedly plotted to bomb sites across the GTA. And he hopes to repair a life changed forever when he spent 17 months in jail, 13 of them in solitary confinement.
That’s why the Crown’s surprise move yesterday to stay terrorism-related charges against Jamal and three of his co-accused is somewhat bittersweet for the 45-year-old Meadowvale family man.
“If I didn’t have my faith while I was in jail, I would’ve been suicidal,” said Jamal, who says he was beaten, pushed and kicked by jail guards.
“I am innocent,” he told reporters yesterday outside a Brampton courthouse as his wife and sons looked on. “I have nothing to do with this terrorism thing.”
His comments came after the Crown effectively dropped charges against four of the 14 adult suspects netted during a massive police sweep in the summer of 2006. (MORE)