The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) was created and passed in response to the terrorist attack in the United States on September 11, 2001. The purpose of the ATA is to prevent such acts by identifying key offences, as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada. There are several different types of terrorism offences, each with specific safeguards designed to ensure the offence is an actual terrorist-related offence and not another criminal offence.
The Attorney General of Canada or the province must consent to bring a terrorism offence against the accused before any proceedings can begin. Part of the proof required for such offences are the accused must display specific knowledge or intent directly related to their conduct and suspected terrorist activity or knowledge thereof.
The ATA clearly defines the offences as a means to directly target terrorist groups and/or specific terrorist activities. The law does take into account how the alleged terrorist, or group operated along with the necessary need to prevent such acts from occurring within Canada.
Types of Terrorism Offences
The Criminal Code defines the following terrorism offences:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or deliberately facilitating a terrorist activity.
- Knowingly, willing, or intentionally contributing to and/or participating in any activities that would benefit a terrorist or terrorist group and their ability to carry out terrorist activities.
- Directly instructing another, with knowledge, to carry out or participate in a terrorist activity for the direct benefit of a terrorist or terrorist group.
- Financing, collecting, supporting, and making available, using, possessing, or providing property for specific terrorist purposes or activities.
- Concealing or harbouring any person, with knowledge they are likely to commit or has already committed a terrorist act with the purpose of enabling them to further carry out or facilitate any terrorist activity.
- Committing any serious offences in association with or under the direction of a terrorist or terrorist group for their benefit.
The concealing or harbouring offence can be brought against someone, regardless of whether this occurred prior to or after the commission of any terrorist activity. Additionally, regardless of whether the accused had knowledge of the specific nature and details of the terrorist act being contemplated or whether the terrorist activity was actually carried out, they can still be charged for simply participating in or have general knowledge of the terrorist group and/or terrorist activity.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a terrorism offence, it is important to find expert legal representation, as these offences carry with them some of the most severe punishments and consequences. Contact Toronto terrorism offences lawyer, Rishma Gupta today to arrange a consultation appointment and case evaluation.