A Canadian federal court judge ordered the conditional release of a Syrian terror suspect who has spent more than seven years in custody without being formally charged. Justice Richard Mosley said in a written statement that the continued detention of Hassan Almrei — accused of being a threat to national security — can no longer be justified.

Almrei, 34, was arrested in October 2001 and accused of having connections to former Toronto resident Nabil al-Marabh. U.S. officials had said al-Marabh had links to the Sept. 11 attacks. However, he was convicted in 2002 of an immigration violation and deported to Syria. Almrei, a Muslim, was the last remaining terror suspect being held under Canada’s national security certificate law, which allows the government to detain and deport immigrants without charges if they are deemed a threat to national security. The law was enacted shortly after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

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