Canadian jihadists? Or innocent Canadians?
Jassika Sassine and her husband, Samir Dib Elias, returned to Canada from Lebanon on September 13 through the Halifax Stanfield International airport. In her landing documents, Jassika failed to mention that she was carrying two envelopes- one containing $1,600, and one containing $15,000.
But one Canadian Border Services Agency officer, Todd Houston, had suspicions about her and the money, as well as the fact that she had not declared it. He felt the money should be seized as “proceeds of crime to support terrorism.” (That has yet to be tested in Canadian courts).
Ms. Sassine told him that the $1,600 was hers and the $15,000 her husband’s and that it was given to them after the sale of property from her husband’s father who died in Lebanon. She had no documentation for that information. Keep that little note in the back of your mind for a second.
Officer Houston walked over to Elias and spoke to him about the money, asking him where it came from. Elias told him his father gave it to him. Houston asked him how his father was doing. Elias replied that he was good.
Ding ding ding
Needless to say, the officer confiscated the money, and provided Sassine with a receipt.
Moments later, Elias called Houston’s supervisor, Supt. Susan Renzetti, and twice demanded “Give me my money, (expletive).” In a second phone call he said, “You’re going to lose your job, you stupid (expletive). Just give me a couple of days.”
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One day later, a man who refused to identify himself began calling the police agency and threatening Officer Houston.
“Tell Todd to give me my money back before he ends up in a Dumpster.”
That’s the way to get action, although it wasn’t the kind he was looking for.
Intimidation never works
The man was Samir Dib Elias, the husband of Jassika Sassine. He continued to call the agency, delivering an ultimatum and threats, as police worked on a search warrant for his home. He did not identify himself in the calls, but both phones used for the calls belonged to Samir Dib Elias.
The Chronicle Herald wrote:
Elias was arrested after police searched his townhouse in the Washmill Lake area Nov. 20. Officers allegedly seized a handgun, two semi-automatic rifles, 28 prohibited magazines for the weapons, more than 500 rounds of ammunition and a Kevlar vest.
Elias faces single counts of intimidating a justice system participant, uttering threats to Houston and unlawfully transferring a firearm, four counts of careless storage of a firearm and 28 counts of possession of a prohibited device.
What were these two? Whose money was it?
Officer Houston had to deactivate his social media accounts and basically do a major lockdown of his personal life. The Canada Border Services Agency did not release his private information to Elias, as is the policy of all law enforcement agencies.
The officer may have stumbled upon a budding jihadist couple. If so, his actions maybe saved numerous lives. There are many instances in the United States where the government has just confiscated people’s money and guns for no reason. But this one smacks of something else entirely. Threats tend to work against the person delivering them.
Elias is due back in court on December 29.
Wonder whose money that really was, that Elias was so desperate to get it back?
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