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Montrealer facing terrorism charge back in court Thursday

Brian Daly. (Philippe-Olivier Contant/QMI Agency)

By Brian Daly, Postmedia Network

Nejib Belhaj-Chtioui is pictured in this undated Facebook profile photo.

Nejib Belhaj-Chtioui is pictured in this undated Facebook profile photo.

MONTREAL - The terrorism case of a 36-year-old Montrealer was put off until Thursday.

Nejib Belhaj-Chtioui, a Tunisian-born Canadian and father of two, appeared briefly in court Tuesday.

The Crown suspects him of "behaviour that would lead one to suspect terrorist activity."

Belhaj-Chtioui's lawyer told the judge he hadn't seen the evidence and would need time to consult with his client.

Both sides will reconvene before the judge on Thursday to decide when to hold a bail hearing.

The Crown opposes bail for the former Bell Canada employee, who has shuttled back and forth between Canada and Tunisia for years.

A source familiar with the investigation has told QMI Agency that police were tipped off to bomb-making blueprints that were posted to the Internet in 2011.

It wasn't clear if the target was Canada or another country, but prosecutor Lucie Martineau said police suspected "something big" was in the works.

Belhaj-Chtioui has been in police crosshairs since at least August 2013.

That's when a judge approved an arrest warrant for the native of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

Belhaj-Chtioui wasn't in Canada at the time and was notified that he would be arrested upon his return.

Police handcuffed him and took him off a plane when it arrived from Tunisia at Montreal's Trudeau Airport on Sunday.

brian.daly@sunmedia.ca


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