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Burnaby man charged under new anti-terrorism laws

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A Burnaby man is being sought by RCMP after becoming the first person charged under Canada's new anti-terrorism laws.

Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, was charged July 17 by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team with leaving Canada to take part in terrorist activity, according to an RCMP press release.

Yusufzai is alleged to have left the country on Jan. 21, 2014 to "commit an offence for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group."

RCMP say he is "known to have travelled to Syria to join Islamist fighters."

As it is an ongoing investigation, RCMP would not comment further other than it is working actively with its international partners.

This is the first charge under Section 83.201 of the Criminal Code, a new tool for police to fight terrorism, which came into effect in July 2013. It is now a crime to leave or attempt to leave the country to participate in terrorist activity.

"This investigation underscores the reality that there are individuals leaving Canada to take part in terrorist activity," said the RCMP's Assistant Commissioner James Malizia. "These charges reaffirm the RCMP’s resolve to aggressively pursue terrorist acts to the fullest extent of the law."

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