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Torture. Ever since three Arab Canadians were placed in a Syrian dungeon the year after the September, 2001, attacks, a curtain has painstakingly been pulled back on the secret world of international counterterrorism and intelligence work. Maher Arar, Abdullah Almalki and Ahmad Abou El Maati. Their names stay in the news headlines because of what happened to them. They were charged with no crime, unjustly described as Islamic extremists or imminent threats to Canada. How did this happen? Below is the most comprehensive timeline that seeks to answer that question, and also provides historical context as to how several men of very different backgrounds came to be lumped together as common suspects. It is the culmination of years of work by The Globe and Mail‘s Colin Freeze. Embedded in this dynamic Web timeline are inquiry findings, court documents, search warrants and chronologies. They illustrate how events nearly 20 years ago have a bearing to this day.

Click and drag the timeline to move through the events from 1989 to 2009, click on the photos of the five men to pull up their individual stories, and click on the event markers to read more. To keep your place on the timeline as you view supporting documents, right-click on the hyperlinks of supporting materials and open them in a new window.

  • Maher Arar

    Maher Arar
  • Abdullah Almalki

    Abdullah Almalki
  • Abdelrahman Alzahabi

    Abdelrahman Alzahabi
  • Ahmad Abou
    El Maati

    Ahmad Abou El Maati
  • Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi

    Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi
  • Developments in the Global “War on Terror”


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