Aaron Yoon reportedly back on Canadian soil following release from Mauritanian prison

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew
Aaron Yoon, seen here in his high school yearbook, travelled overseas with Ali Medlej, 24, and Xris Katsiroubas, 22, who died during the al-Qaeda-linked attack on a gas refinery in Algeria.

Aaron Yoon, a Canadian who was held for 18 months in a Mauritanian prison on terror-related charges, has returned to the country, according to reports.

CTV News correspondent Daniele Hamamdjian reports that Yoon landed at Toronto's Pearson Airport on Friday afternoon and was escorted to customs by RCMP officers. The Toronto Star further confirmed the 24-year-old had returned to Canada.

An RCMP spokesperson told Yahoo! Canada News they were aware of media reports of his return, but stopped short of offering confirmation.

Yoon's return comes days after a Mauritanian appeal judge ended his sentence and ordered him released from prison.

[ Related: Uncertain reception awaits for Aaron Yoon's return to Canada ]

Yoon, who converted to Islam, had been held in a West African jail since December 2011, on claims he had connections to a terrorist organization.

Yoon has claimed he is innocent of the charges against him and that he was tortured into signing a confession. Amnesty International supports the claim, identifying torture as a coercive method frequently used by Mauritian police.

Yoon is originally from London, Ont., and travelled overseas with two high school friends, Xris Katsiroubas and Ali Medlej, who were later killed in a terrorist attack on an Algerian gas plant.

Yoon says he travelled to West Africa to learn Arabic and study the Qur'an.

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