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The Globe and Mail

Aaron Yoon returns to Canada after being jailed for terrorism overseas

Aaron Yoon is shown in a 2006 yearbook photo from South Collegiate Institute in London, Ont.

HANDOUT/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadian police said they know that a terrorism suspect returned home Friday from a foreign jail, but won't comment on reports they took him in for questioning upon arrival at the airport.

"We are aware that a Canadian jailed in Mauritania has returned to Canada," RCMP Corporal David Falls said, before adding that the Mounties would make no further remarks on the matter.

He would not comment on reports that the Canadian in question, Aaron Yoon, 24, had been escorted off a flight from Europe by RCMP officers after it landed at Pearson International Airport.

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Mr. Yoon, who is from London, Ont., was released after 18 months in prison in Mauritania this week. He had been held there on terrorism charges.

Canadian authorities have been trying to piece together his foreign travels with two Canadian friends who died taking part in a terrorist attack that killed at least 37 hostages in Algeria early this year.

A Canadian of Korean heritage who embraced radical Islam, Mr. Yoon travelled to Africa two years ago with two friends from London, Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej. He denies being part of the deadly terrorist plot in which his friends played key roles.

After Mr. Yoon was arrested in Mauritania in 2011, Mr. Katsiroubas and Mr. Medlej joined a terrorist faction aligned with al-Qaeda known as the Signed in Blood Battalion. In the months that followed, the two men helped plan a siege at a gas-plant complex in Algeria.

Last week, U.S. authorities announced charges against the mastermind of that attack, Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is at large and has been the subject of a sealed indictment since February. A U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman would not say on Tuesday whether any other suspects or material witnesses are being sought.

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About the Author
National security reporter

Focusing on Canadian matters during the past decade, Colin Freeze has reported extensively on the interplay between government, police, spy services, and the judiciary. Colin has twice been to Afghanistan to be embedded with the Canadian military. More

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