Earlier this year, Shareef Abdelhaleem was convicted for his role in a terrorist plot to detonate three truck bombs in downtown Toronto. One of the core members of the so-called “Toronto 18,” Abdelhaleem was caught on police wiretaps talking about ammonium nitrate, mass murder—and how to play the stock market to profit from the attacks. During his trial, Abdelhaleem tried to portray himself as the hapless victim, telling the judge that he was only playing along with his co-conspirators in an attempt to minimize their damage. The judge called his story “nonsensical” and declared him guilty (he will be sentenced next month). But in a new play now on stage in Toronto—a production funded in part with federal dollars—Abdelhaleem is once again portrayed as a victim of overzealous spies and a slow-moving justice system. The playwright describes Homegrown as a “true story.” It is anything but.
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