Toronto woman found guilty of terror charges in Canadian Tire attack

Toronto woman found guilty of terror charges in Canadian Tire attack

The woman was sentenced to seven years in prison for attacking workers at a Canadian Tire store

A woman convicted of terror charges for attacking workers at a Canadian Tire store in Toronto was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday after a judge found her mental illness played a key role in her crimes.

Rehab Dughmosh, 34, was found guilty of four terrorism charges for attacking store workers with a golf club and a butcher’s knife while draped in an ISIL banner in June 2017 and for trying to travel to Syria join the terrorist organization the year before.

Justice Maureen Forestell said Dughmosh’s mental illness, likely schizophrenia, played a central role in her crimes and “rendered her vulnerable to extremist beliefs.”

“I wish to make it quite clear that the sentence that I am imposing is significantly less than would be imposed on an offender who did not have a major mental illness,” she said.

The judge also made a point to note the “unusual” nature of the case.

Dughmosh represented herself and did not enter a plea, so the court recorded a not-guilty plea on her behalf. She also did not weigh in on jury selection for her case.

During her trial, Dughmosh admitted all the facts alleged by the Crown. That agreed statement of facts was the only evidence proffered to jurors, who swiftly found the woman guilty.

READ MORE: Ten-year-old girl, 18-year-old woman killed in Toronto shooting

Court heard that Dughmosh flew to Turkey in April 2016 with the intention of crossing over into Syria, where she was born and raised, to join ISIL. Her brother alerted authorities and Turkish officials did not allow her to enter the country, forcing her to return to Toronto, according to the agreed statement of facts.

She told the RCMP at that point she was only trying to visit family and the investigation was closed. Court heard that in fact, Dughmosh had been planning at attack for months.

On June 3, 2017, she attacked people at a Canadian Tire store in the city’s east end, clad in a homemade ISIL banner and bandana. She swung a golf club at an employee, which was then taken from her. Then she swung a knife at another employee, but was quickly disarmed and restrained by the store’s employees. One man suffered some bruising, but no one was seriously injured.

“She told employees that she was from ISIS and that she wanted revenge for Muslims,” the judge told court.

Dughmosh told police she had purchased a bow and arrows and had practice shooting. She also made other weapons, but her ex-husband took them from her, court heard. Police also found several Islamic State propaganda videos on her phone.

Dughmosh had married her husband in Syria and the couple moved to Canada in 2009 and later had two children, court heard.

She began to explore extremist groups and political beliefs in 2013, stopped going to the mosque and began wearing a niqab. She went out less with her family, court heard.

By 2015, family members said she began feeling unsafe and paranoid. She began to cover openings in their apartment, including telephone jacks and light fixtures.

A doctor diagnosed her with a major mental illness that was likely schizophrenia, but could be an unspecified anxiety disorder. The doctor said her extremist beliefs provided “a more stable sense of self at a time when self-concept and personality are undergoing significant changes.”

“She experienced hallucinations and delusions and expressed an intention to kill all non-Muslims and Muslims who side with non-Muslims,” Forestell said.

Dughmosh refused treatment while in custody until a little more than a year ago, court heard. She was in partial remission a few months later and has been compliant and improving since.

READ MORE: Kamloops teens charged with plotting to attack school

Yet she still endorses pro-Islamic State sentiments, although less intense and without violent ideation, court heard.

“That continued support for ISIS, even though it is related to her illness, may make Ms. Dughmosh dangerous to the public,” the judge said.

With credit given for time already served in jail, Dughmosh has about 4.5 years left of her sentence.

The court ordered her Islamic State items and propaganda videos on her cell phone destroyed.

Dughmosh said little during her sentencing but spoke up to ask the judge not to destroy the photographs of her children on her phone — a request Forestell agreed to.

Liam Casey , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read