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This courtroom sketch shows Shareef Abdelhaleem at the outset of his trial.

John Mantha

There is "virtually no evidence" to support a Toronto 18 member's claim of entrapment, a judge said Tuesday in convicting Shareef Abdelhaleem of terrorist offences.

Mr. Abdelhaleem, 34, was found guilty last month of participating in a terrorist group and intending to cause an explosion.

No conviction was entered at the time because his defence brought a motion seeking a stay on the basis of entrapment.

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On Tuesday a judge ruled that Mr. Abdelhaleem's evidence fell far short of the test for entrapment - that police created a crime that otherwise wouldn't have occurred or that they induced the commission of a crime.

"Nothing occurred which would induce an average person in the position of the accused, with strengths and weaknesses, to commit a crime as serious as this one," the judge said.

The entrapment motion part of Mr. Abdelhaleem's trial was marked by bizarre, confusing and often heated testimony from Mr. Abdelhaleem.

"The accused was the antithesis of an impressive witness," the judge said.

"He often launched into lengthy, rambling answers and raised his voice in an apparent attempt to convince all those listening to his evidence of the sincerity of his position."

Even as the judge later studied transcripts of Mr. Abdelhaleem's testimony he said he could not decipher much of what Mr. Abdelhaleem meant and his testimony was not "logically persuasive."

Mr. Abdelhaleem showed little reaction as the judge read his ruling. His lawyer, William Naylor, said outside court that it was too early to consider an appeal.

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Mr. Abdelhaleem's lawyer had argued his client was "dragged in" to the Toronto 18 bomb plot by a former friend seeking revenge through his work as a police agent.

The Crown contended Mr. Abdelhaleem was a willing and active participant in the plot to detonate massive bombs at the Toronto offices of CSIS, the Toronto Stock Exchange and an Ontario military base.

Mr. Abdelhaleem and 17 others who would come to be known as the Toronto 18 were arrested in the summer of 2006 and charged with terrorism offences. Several people, including Mr. Abdelhaleem, were charged in a plot to bomb military, intelligence and financial targets.

Mr. Abdelhaleem maintained he was an "outsider" in the plot who was just delivering messages back and forth between ringleader Zakaria Amara and police informant Shaher Elsohemy, but that he tried to stay involved so he could create opportunities for sabotage.

Mr. Amara was sentenced to life last month.

The case returns to court on Friday to set a date for sentencing submissions.

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