Deported Somali says ‘extremists’ shot at plane..

Halkaan ka akhri

A Somali man who was deported from Canada on Sunday claims a man was injured when a Canadian government-chartered plane was shot at in Somalia.

Mohamed Said Jama, 40, told CBC News in a phone interview that “extremists” have surrounded his plane at an airport in Bosaso, in northern Somalia, and have threatened to kill him.

In a cellphone interview on Wednesday morning, Jama said someone fired a shot into the airplane and struck a man on board.

The man was shot in the leg, said Jama, who had no further information about the man’s condition.

Jama, who says he is using the pilot’s phone, claims the people surrounding the plane have said he will be shot unless a ransom is paid.

His mother told CBC News in an interview on Tuesday from her home in the United States that the men holding her son have demanded $100,000.

Canada Border Services Agency officials said they have no information to substantiate Jama’s claims.

CBSA agents escorted Jama to Kenya on Sunday, then placed him on a charter plane bound for Somalia.

Dangerous country

Canadian government agents will not go into Somalia because the violence in that country is too dangerous.

Two weeks ago, Somalia’s embattled government appealed for more help in its fight against militants who control much of the country’s southern and central regions, including large portions of the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia’s fragile, UN-backed government has struggled for years to gain relevancy, but corruption and its minuscule footprint in the country have limited its effectiveness.

Somalia has not had an effective government for 19 years, allowing piracy to flourish off its coast.

According to Jama, there are people who are trying to free the plane and secure the airport. If that can be done the plane will be flown back to Kenya, he said.

If that happens, Canada will once again be responsible for Jama, said his lawyer David Matas.

Mattas told CBC News Tuesday that Canadian officials should have known better than to send his client to a dangerous country in a state of chaos. He believes Jama will be returned to Canada.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who was in Winnipeg Wednesday, said he was unaware of Jama’s claim that he is being held hostage until he heard about the story on CBC News.

He said he doesn’t get involved in the day-to-day running of the CBSA, but as far as he knows officials are doing what they are supposed to do.

“This individual’s under a deportation [order]. He’s a notorious criminal and I’m quite pleased to see him having left Canada,” Toews said.

Lengthy criminal record

Jama, who came to Canada in 1991 as a refugee, was deported because of his lengthy and violent criminal record.

He was convicted in 2005 of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and robbery for an armed home invasion in Winnipeg, where he stabbed a man in the cheek.

Before that, he served jail time for robbery, public mischief and breaches of court orders.

The CBSA made its first attempt to deport Jama last fall, but the effort failed when Jama’s agency escorts arrived with him in Nairobi, Kenya, but were unable to arrange a charter flight to Somalia.

When he was returned to Winnipeg, Jama was released on a $2,000 bond and a promise to report to monthly meetings with CBSA officers and avoid contact with known criminals.

He failed to show up for the monthly meetings and was arrested March 19, 2010, when police found him in the company of alleged gang members.

The CBSA again began deportation procedures, but Jama launched several appeals.

He complained that being sent back to Somalia would be a death sentence because his father was a reviled high-ranking military official.

The federal government, the Immigration and Refugee Board and the federal courts all ruled there was insufficient evidence to back up his claim.

Jama and Matas also claimed Jama’s cousin, Hussein Jilaow, was killed in Somalia after being deported from Canada in 2007.

The federal courts considered that claim during Jama’s appeal but ruled that there was not enough proof that it happened.

Jama’s legal avenues to stave off being removed from Canada were exhausted in May and arrangements for his deportation resumed.

Source: CBC

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