OTTAWA  - Canada’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld an anti-terrorism law enacted after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, ruling unanimously that those who choose to engage in terrorism must “pay a very heavy price.” The law’s constitutionality was challenged by Mohammad Momin Khawaja, convicted in Canada of terrorism for involvement with a British group that had plotted unsuccessfully to set off bombs in London. It was also challenged by two men accused of terrorism by the United States for trying to buy missiles or weapons technology for the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers.

The court rejected arguments that the law’s definition of terrorism was overly broad. It also upheld Khawaja’s life sentence and confirmed the orders to extradite the other two to the United States. Khawaja, the first to be convicted under the new anti-terrorism law, was sentenced in 2008 to 10-1/2 years in prison, and his sentence was then extended to life after appeal by the government. The trial judge noted that Khawaja referred to Osama Bin Laden as “the most beloved person to me in the ... whole world, after Allah.” He was found to have participated in a terrorism training camp in Pakistan and to have designed a device dubbed the “hi fi digimonster” for detonating bombs. “The appellant was a willing participant in a terrorist group,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote in Friday’s 7-0 decision, adding that he was “apparently remorseless.”