Montreal teen first convicted of travelling to aid terrorists

A 16-year-old boy, the youngest on trial for terrorism offences in Canada, has been found guilty by a Quebec youth court judge of committing a robbery in association with a terrorist organization and planning to leave Canada to join a jihadist group abroad.

His conviction for trying to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activities abroad is the first under  federal anti-terror laws passed in 2013.

"It is a first, it is a new infraction and it is the first conviction," Crown Marie-Eve Moore told reporters.

The teen, who was not identified because he is a minor, admitted to robbing a convenience store in 2014 when he was 15, but pleaded not guilty to trying to use the stolen money to travel to Syria.

Youth Court Judge Dominique Wilhelmy said evidence showed the teen’s radicalization began when he was 13. 

“This sad story is that of a young boy submerged by the messages of violence, of vengeance and of war issued by the Islamic State,” Wilhelmy said.

The boy's father, who emigrated from Algeria with his family in 2003, reported his own son to police in October 2014 after discovering a bag hidden behind their home containing a mask, knife and cash.

Montreal police alerted the RCMP when they found he had become radicalized.

A meeting to discuss the boy's sentencing will be held on Jan. 5.

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