12:46 GMT28 January 2021
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    TORONTO (Sputnik) – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have brought forward terrorism charges against 22-year Ikar Mao of Guelph, Ontario following his arrest in Turkey this past summer, the Canadian law enforcement agency said in a press release.

    "I want to reassure the citizens of the Greater Toronto Area and all Canadians, that our primary focus is the safety and protection of the public at all times," RCMP Chief Superintendent Michael LeSage said on Friday.

    Mao has been charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group and leaving Canada to take part in activity of a terrorist group. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

    Earlier, the CBC reported that Mao and his wife, Haleema Mustafa, were arrested in Turkey near the Syrian border in July, after they disappeared during a family vacation.

    A publication ban has been imposed on the case, and prosecutors have not revealed details about the evidence they have gathered.

    Mao is reportedly due to make his first appearance in court in Brampton, Ontario later on Friday.


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