Who is Awso Peshdary? The case against an alleged Ottawa extremist who police say recruited for ISIL

and became fast friends from the day they met in the sweltering summer of 2012.

They would attend lectures together at Algonquin College, where the campus Muslim Students’ Association would invite respected speakers from the Ottawa Muslim community.

The two young men shared an interest in the political turmoil brewing in the in the wake of the Arab Spring, and they shared a passion for their faith.

Before long, friends of Maguire – a small-town kid from Kemptville and a recent convert to Islam – would see a radical change in his demeanour. He adopted the Arabic name Yahya and began using extremist rhetoric on social media and in the company of shocked friends and family.

By the end of the year, he was making his way to Syria to join ISIL.

Tony Caldwell/Ottawa SunTony Caldwell/Ottawa SunPeshdary was arrested in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 28, in connection with the terrorism investigation that resulted in the arrests of Hiva Mohammed Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed in Ottawa and Khurram Sher from London.

The RCMP believe the charismatic Peshdary played a hand in Maguire’s “radicalization to violence,” and allege that in the three years that followed, while under police surveillance, Peshdary recruited others to the extremist cause.

Peshdary was charged in February 2015 with recruiting, financing and facilitating terrorism.

The Ottawa Citizen

About Aedan Helmer and Gary Dimmock, Postmedia News