Ferid Imam

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Ferid Imam
Nationality Canada
Other names Yousef
Known for allegedly traveled to Pakistan to engage in Jihad

Ferid Imam is a citizen of Canada who is believed to have provided military training to al Qaeda jihadists in Pakistan in 2008.[1][2][3][4] Charges filed against him on March 15, 2011, were reported to have been the first time a Canadian to faced terrorism charges for offences alleged to have been committed outside of Canada.

Life in Canada

According to the Globe and Mail seven year old Amim was an "immigrant from East Africa" in the 1990s.[2] They report he was popular in high school and was on the honor roll and soccer team.

One Globe and Mail article says he studied biochemistry at the University of Manitoba, while another article says he studied pharmacy.[1][2] He voiced an opinion during the debates of the publication of cartoons that depicted Mohammed, Islam's prophet, calling the publication "a crisis rather than a controversy.”,

In 2006 he made a pilgrimage to Mecca.[2]

Alleged jihadi activities

In 2007 Imam and two of his friends from Winnipeg, Muhannad al-Farekh and Miawand Yar, traveled to Waziristan, one of Pakistan's loosely controlled Federally Administered Tribal Agencies, where it is believed they sought out jihadis for military training.[2]

On March 15, 2011, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged Imam with terrorism related offenses.[2] The Globe and Mail called the charges a "crucial test" of a new anti-terrorism law. They reported it was the first time in Canadian history a Canadian had been charged with a terrorism related offense committed outside Canada. However, the Globe and Mail reported that Canadian and American security officials had sought Imam for years, and the formal charges merely made the search official.

A Bosian-American named Adis Medunjanin was convicted in 2012.[4] At his trial further allegations against Imam emerged. Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay testified at Medunjanin's trial that the htree were friends, who had travelled to Pakistan together, to train for Jihad, and that they were trained by an English speaking individual they knew as "Yousef". Colin Freeze, writing in the Globe and Mail, reported security officials believe "Yousef" was Imam's nomme de guerre.

According to that testimony Imam provided training in the use of hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades and the use, maintenance and assembly and disassembly of AK-47 rifles.[4]


Imam remains at large.[4] He has been indicted in both the Canadian and US Civil justice systems. Journalist Colin Freeze described an informal interview with former CIA director Michael Hayden, who confirmed that he was familiar with Imam's file, that he had discussed it with Canadian officials.[3] Freeze quoted Hayden saying that Imam required "stronger measures" -- which Freeze concluded meant that Imam had already been killed by a missile fired from a Predator drone.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Colin Freeze (2011-03-15). "Former CIA director knew of Canada’s ‘lost boys’". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/former-cia-director-knew-of-canadas-lost-boys/article1807149/. Retrieved 2012-05-10. "In 2007, the three Winnipeggers ventured abroad after first undergoing conversions to radical Islam. The disappearance of the three men in their 20s – Muhannad al-Farekh, Miawand Yar and Ferid Imam – has been a mystery to friends and family, as well as to counterterrorism agencies who have traced a trail running from Winnipeg to Waziristan, Pakistan." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Colin Freeze, Greg McArthur (2011-03-15). "Mounties lay terror charges against missing Canadians". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mounties-lay-terror-charges-against-missing-canadians/article1942203/. Retrieved 2012-05-10. "The case, which alleges lesser offences by a second suspect, amounts to a crucial test of the reach of Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it allows police to charge suspects who are suspected of committing terrorist offences outside Canada’s borders. The new case is the first time that the Mounties have charged someone with acts taking place entirely overseas." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Colin Freeze (2012-04-16). "Case of alleged Canadian terrorist highlights world of targeted killings". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/worldview/case-of-alleged-canadian-terrorist-highlights-world-of-targeted-killings/article2403434/singlepage/#articlecontent. Retrieved 2012-05-10. "Ferid Imam, a Canadian citizen who once studied biochemistry at the University of Manitoba, is indicted as a co-conspirator in the subway plot. But he won’t likely be coming to the Brooklyn courtroom any time soon. In fact, it’s a safer bet that Mr. Imam -- never arrested -- lies dead under mounds of rubble somewhere in mountainous regions of northwest Pakistan." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Colin Freeze (2012-05-07). "Fugitive Canadian alleged to have trained al-Qaeda recruits". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/fugitive-canadian-alleged-to-have-trained-al-qaeda-recruits/article2424457/. Retrieved 2012-05-10. "A terrorism trial in New York has revealed how a fugitive Canadian is alleged to have instructed al-Qaeda recruits in how to fire AK-47 assault rifles, how to lob hand grenades and how to shoot shoulder-mounted rocket launchers."  mirror

Early Life