Fahim Ahmad, the original ringleader of the so-called “Toronto 18” terrorist group, has issued a surprise guilty plea in the middle of his trial. Now 25, the Scarborough man was the driving force behind an infamous 2005 winter training camp, where more than a dozen young Muslims marched in the snow and spoke of jihad while undercover officers hunkered nearby. A tough talker, Ahmad dreamed of storming Parliament, beheading politicians, and forcing Canada to pull its troops out of Afghanistan. In a fiery speech videotaped at the end of the camp, Ahmad tells his followers that “Rome has to be defeated.” It “doesn’t matter what trials you face, it doesn’t matter what comes your way,” he says. “Our mission’s greater. Whether we get arrested, whether we (get) killed, we get tortured, our mission’s greater than just individuals.” Three months after the camp, one of Ahmad’s trusted followers, Zakaria Amara, distanced himself from the others and embarked on a separate plot to detonate three truck bombs in downtown Toronto. Amara pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced to life in prison. A date for Ahmad’s sentencing has yet to be set.