Psychiatrist Believes That Harkat Poses Little Risk

How could this go wrong?

A psychiatrist who has treated terror suspect Mohamed Harkat for the last eight years says the refugee from Algeria is unlikely to commit violent acts.

Dr. Colin Cameron told a Federal Court of Canada hearing Friday on Harkat’s release conditions that his patient supports democracy and expresses revulsion about terrorist attacks.

“I’m trained to be very skeptical of people,” Cameron told the court. “I’ve asked a lot of pointed questions to him.”

Harkat, who is closely monitored by Canadian border agency officials, wants general permission to use the internet outside his family home and to travel freely within Canada.

Authorities are asking the court to deny the requests and make only minor modifications to existing conditions, saying Harkat continues to pose a threat almost 15 years after being arrested.

As the two-day hearing wrapped up Friday, Justice Sylvie Roussel said she planned to issue a decision soon on whether to relax current restrictions.

Harkat, 49, was taken into custody in Ottawa in December 2002 on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent but he denies any involvement in terrorism.

The federal government is trying to deport the former pizza-delivery man using a national security certificate — a legal tool for removing non-citizens suspected of ties to extremism or espionage.

He fears he will be tortured if returned to his Algerian homeland, something Cameron says Harkat has frequent nightmares about.