Two Windsor men allegedly involved in war in Syria
There are troubling allegations about two Windsor men, reportedly involved in the Syrian civil war.
Both men - in their 20s - are being investigated by federal authorities, but officials aren't saying much.
A member of Windsor's Islamic community tells CTV News that authorities are investigating two local men for alleged involvement in the war in Syria.
But he says the community is hoping for a swift resolution.
Ronnie Haidar of the Windsor Islamic Association says the two Windsor men are members of their congregation.
"We hold five daily prayers and they are members who would show up at these prayers."
Ahmad Waseem and Mohammed Monir El Shaer - both 26 - once participated in services at the Windsor Islamic Association.
These same men reportedly have ties to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
"It's definitely a surprising thing to the Windsor Islamic community because nobody in our Windsor mosque and Windsor community is known to be a recruiter or motivator," Haidar says.
The RCMP confirms to CTV News that both men have been charged with passport-related offences in the past, but will not confirm the role these men have in the conflict in Syria - if any.
Reports indicate Waseem fled to Syria and in June wrote on his Facebook page: "even tho you dont like to hear it..we kill and beg to be killed to get closer to allah."
El Shaer is now reportedly in Windsor.
Windsor police Sgt. Matthew D'Asti says "If we were ever to come across information like this, which is obviously serious allegations, then we would be sharing that with our policing partners."
RCMP officials declined to comment whether the two are believed to be participants of extreme radicalism only saying, "The RCMP takes the threat of terrorism and radicalization to violence very seriously. Countering radicalization to violence requires the public to take an active role by reporting suspicious or illegal activities."
Haidar says "You have to understand, in no way shape or form have these ideas been fostered within the Windsor mosque."
He adds that the Windsor Islamic Association has been working closely with law enforcement, "We have a constant dialogue between the board and the different members at the Windsor mosque and the different officials with RCMP and Windsor police."
He wants to stress that he hopes this matter will be resolved quickly and doesn't want this event to overshadow the good the association has done for the community.
Haidar says he has not seen Waseem or El Shaer at the mosque.
El Shaer is being defended by Windsor lawyer Patrick Ducharme on the passport charge, but he did not return a request for comment.