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Canada gets 1st conviction under law against seeking to take part in terrorist group

BRAMPTON, Ont. - Canadian authorities are calling a conviction of a 28-year-old man under an anti-terrorist law a significant milestone.

The RCMP say Mohamed Hassan Hersi's conviction is the first time someone has been found guilty of attempting to participate in the activities of a terrorist group.

The 28-year-old man was found guilty Friday in a Brampton, Ont., court of both that charge and one of counselling a person to participate in terrorist activity.

Hersi was arrested in 2011 at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

The National Post reported that the Crown contended Hersi was on his way to Somalia to join Al-Shabab, a Somali terrorist group, an allegation it said that Hersi denied, saying he was going overseas to study.

An RCMP news release says the conviction is the result of what it calls an extensive joint national security criminal investigation involving the Mounties and Toronto police.

Hersi's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

The law Hersi was convicted under was passed in 2001.

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