RCMP make terrorism arrest in P.E.I.

RCMP say they have reasonable grounds to believe UPEI student would have committed a terrorism offence

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 25, 2015

Chemistry students at UPEI are rattled by news that a fellow student was charged because police believe the young man may have been planning terror-related crimes.

“There’s just a sense of shock,’’ said one female student, who asked not to be identified.

“We’re not expecting anything like this.’’

RCMP confirmed to The Guardian Wednesday that Amir Raisolsadat was arrested Tuesday following a peace bond ordered under the Criminal Code of Canada.

The information filed in court states the officer in question has reasonable grounds to believe that Seyed Amir Ralsolsadat of Stratford will commit an offence of terrorism.

He was released on an undertaking that requires him to pay $500 if he fails to appear in court on April 20.

He must remain on P.E.I. and must notify the RCMP if his address changes.

He is prohibited from possessing firearms and must surrender any firearms currently in his possession to police.

He is to report in person to the RCMP each Tuesday.

RCMP spokesman Harold Pfleiderer informed The Guardian via email that police are able to pursue an application for an order to keep the peace and be of good behavior if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a person may commit a terrorism offence.

Several anti-Muslim blogs link Raisolsadat to a Facebook page and a blog, both now removed, that sold chemical weapons.

Raisolsadat, who is from Iran and attended Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown before enrolling at UPEI, was back in class Wednesday morning.

When The Guardian approached Raisolsadat on campus, he shook his head emphatically before quickly heading into a lecture theatre for his organic chemistry class.

Several students were willing to speak about Raisolsadat, but all did so with the request for anonymity.

A male student was taken aback after The Guardian informed him of why his fellow organic chemistry student was arrested.

“It makes me a little bit afraid,’’ he said.

“He looks like a good guy - really friendly.’’

Some students have difficulty believing Raisolsadat may have been plotting to commit a terrorism act.

“I think they probably have a misunderstanding,’’ noted one female student.

“I think he’s a pretty cool guy.’’

Said another: “It’s really surprising that he (allegedly) did something. I don’t think it’s true.’’

Rabin Bissessur, chair of the chemistry department at UPEI, says the university cannot comment on the matter due to UPEI’s privacy policy.

“It’s so new,’’ added Bissessur.

“We just found out. I can’t say anything.’’

A spokeswoman for the university said UPEI has not been contacted by any law enforcement agency regarding the matter.

Pfleiderer said the RCMP would not comment further due to the fact that there is an ongoing criminal investigation.

P.E.I. Attorney General Janice Sherry lauded police for their “diligent and effective efforts’’ that led to Tuesday’s arrest.

“As Islanders, and Canadians, we share comfort and pride in the work the RCMP carries out in response to activities that may be a potential threat to the safety of our communities,’’ Sherry said in a statement.