Timmins not a jihadist hotbed, says mayor

A tweet claims to show a picture of the Andre Poulin, who later became known as Abu Muslim....

A tweet claims to show a picture of the Andre Poulin, who later became known as Abu Muslim. (Twitter)

Jeff Labine, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:32 PM ET

TIMMINS, Ont. — Jihadists? Us?

The mayor of Timmins, Ont., says late homegrown ISIS jihadist Abu Muslim — who was known as Andre Poulin when he lived in the northern Ontario centre — is not putting a stain on the city's name.

Poulin converted to Islam and headed overseas to battle for Syrian extremists in 2012. He was killed last summer.

But his influence is apparently not gone.

Last week, a video posted to YouTube featured Poulin appealing to Canadians to pitch in to help Sunni militant group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), presenting pillaging its way through Iraq.

"I'm originally from Canada," Poulin says directly into the camera. "I was like any other Canadian. I watched hockey. I went to the cottage in the summertime. I loved to fish. I wanted to go hunting. I liked the outdoors and I like sports."

As Poulin spoke about his life growing up in Canada, the video cuts to scenes of ice hockey, fishing and many other typical Canadian pastimes.

It also mentions his Timmins hometown.

Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren says he's not worried about the city's name getting dragged in.

"I think you're talking about one individual," he said. "This would not be something new in Ontario or Canada. We have some of these individuals who come from different communities and who for whatever reason have joined these organizations. It is not something you want your community attached to that's for sure.

"But we have had many successes so you can't just look at one individual and assume that's the norm."

Even while living in Timmins, Poulin apparently didn't do the city any favours. Police knew him well during several run-ins with the law, including a conviction in 2010 for a weapons charge and uttering threats.


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