Psychotic Canadian convicted in terror investigation enters U.S. Super Security Prison

Both a Canadian family and an American expert said that a mentally ill patient from Mississauga, Ontario was convicted for participating in a cyber terrorist conspiracy, and a teenager should not be kept in a super security prison in Colorado.

Instead, they said he should be sent back to Canada, where he could serve the remaining 40 years in prison and get the psychiatric help he needed.

In 2015, 17-year-old Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy lived in his parents’ home in Mississauga, west of Toronto. At that time, he met an undercover FBI agent online who believed he was a member of ISIS. El Bahnasawy agreed to help plan the attacks in New York City, including the bombing of Times Square and the city’s subway system.

At the time, the teenager was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder and addiction. He has stopped two mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs and is awaiting further psychiatric treatment.

No attacks were carried out. El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty to terrorist charges related to the conspiracy and was sentenced to 40 years in prison in the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan in 2019. At the time, security officials in the United States and Canada knew that he had long-term mental health problems.

El Bahnasawy, 23, has been detained in the United States for the past five years. His family said he could not get the medication and mental treatment that he could get in a Canadian prison.

Osama El Bahnasawy (left) and his wife Khadiga Metwally hope that their son will be transferred to a Canadian prison to serve his sentence and receive psychiatric treatment. (Keith Burgess/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

“Because of depression, he attempted suicide five times in prison. This is why his transfer is very, very important, because he is not a US citizen and he is not eligible to go. [U.S.] There is a mental hospital in the prison,” his father Osama El Bahnasawy told CBC News.

“The situation is very dangerous now. He could die at any time.”

Now, the future of El Bahnasawy is at a loss. According to the International Criminal Transfer Act, he can be transferred.

However, both the Canadian and US governments must agree to this move. According to the family, at present, the Canadian government is only asking for paperwork on the El Bahnasawy case-this is the first step in the process.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Department of Public Safety said that due to privacy regulations, they were unable to comment on individual prison transfer requests.

‘He is totally isolated’

This Administrative Largest Facilities (ADX) FlorenceLocated about 180 kilometers south of Denver, it aims to detain the most dangerous prisoners in the United States who are considered a threat to themselves or others. It has 351 prisoners.

Prisoners are isolated in their own two-meter by three-and-a-half-meter cell for 23 hours a day. These concrete cells have soundproof walls and concrete doors. The prisoner could not see outside.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman began serving life imprisonment there in 2019. No one escaped from prison.

El Bahnasawy has been transferred to many prisons in the past five years and arrived at the ADX facility in April.

His mother said that he was constrained by fetters, belly chains and handcuffs most of the time, even while eating.

“They put his food on the floor, and he has to kneel and eat like a dog,” Kadiga Metvali told CBC.

“This is the worst prison in the world. He can’t talk to anyone, he can’t see anyone. He is completely isolated from the world.”

A guard tower stands above the Federal Penitentiary Building, which houses a super prison on the outskirts of Florence in southern Colorado. (Brennan Linsley/Associated Press)

The family said that the prison told them that they could no longer visit their son or talk to him directly. They can only communicate via email.

The family hoped that he would be transferred to a Canadian prison for medication and mental counseling.

Osama El Bahnasawy said: “The prison here has a mental health department, so in Canada he will get a lot of help, medical treatment and everything.”

“We are not using the right tools”

It is not just this family who asked for El Bahnasawy to be transferred to a Canadian prison.

Former U.S. Army general and psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Shenakis said that Barnasavi’s arrest and prosecution did not make his country safer.

“My biggest worry is that we really didn’t do our job well when identifying people who are truly dangerous, and we didn’t use the right tools and the right mechanisms to protect our country.”

Xenakis said that security officials should do more to identify those who might be actual threats and those who are not.

Metvalley said her son was diagnosed with mental health problems when he was a child. (Submitted by the El Bahnasawy family)

“There are dangerous people out there. There is no doubt. Various strategies should be used to protect yourself from these dangerous people.”

Xenakis said that mentally ill patients can be a low-hanging fruit, or basically easy to manipulate for security agencies trying to protect Americans and Canadians.

“I think we should do our best to actively identify these people and provide them with treatment. I think this is the mistake in this case. This young man has a serious mental illness. He has been sick for many years.”

Not a “9/11 planner”

El Bahnasawys hired former U.S. Attorney Andrew Frisch to review their son’s situation.

Frisch is now practicing privately in Manhattan. He said that when 17-year-old El Bahnasawy started chatting online with undercover FBI agents and others, he might not know what he was doing.

“He is not Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 incident. He is not Ted Bundy. He is not Ted Kaczynski of Unabomber. He is a distraught teenager. He is actually in the bedroom of his parents’ suburban home with records. Psychiatric care of the hospitalized medical history on file,” Frisch told CBC.

Frisch said he understands why some people might feel that El Bahnasawy got what he deserves, but keeping the mentally ill and refusing to give them medicine or treatment is not a long-term solution.

“It is not good for any of us. We have not made the world safer, nor have we made any of us safer, treating people the way he is treated. In fact, we are doing the opposite. Things.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will not comment on how long it may take to approve or deny a request.

The New York judge who sentenced El Bahnasawy recommended that he be transferred to Canada to serve his sentence.

This still didn’t happen, but his parents wanted to make sure it happened.

“We will never stop fighting for Abdul Rahman. We will never stop fighting for the fragile, silent mental patients who need our help,” Metvali said.

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