Former ISIS recruit reportedly living in Calgary granted new freedom to overnight at ski resorts

·3 min read
Convicted terrorist Carlos Larmond, seen here in a court sketch from 2015, has been granted new freedoms by the Parole Board of Canada. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod)
Convicted terrorist Carlos Larmond, seen here in a court sketch from 2015, has been granted new freedoms by the Parole Board of Canada. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod)

A convicted would-be terrorist who has reportedly been living at a Calgary halfway house since his release from prison has been granted new freedoms by the Parole Board of Canada, allowing him to overnight at local ski resorts with his girlfriend despite being deemed too dangerous for full release one year ago.

Carlos Larmond, 29, was serving a seven-year sentence for attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity abroad and threatening to kill a corrections officer while in pretrial custody. He was arrested in January 2015 at a Montreal airport en route to Syria with a plan to join an ISIS terrorist training camp with his twin brother, Ashton.

Details of Larmond's location were redacted in the parole documents but the paperwork was released this week by the Parole Board of Canada's Edmonton office. The Ottawa Citizen reported he was living in Calgary as of February 2020.

Despite requiring Larmond to spend nights at a halfway house because of his "need for constant close monitoring" in 2019, the board lifted the condition this week so that he could travel to the mountains for overnight trips with his girlfriend, who is a former school friend described in the documents as a "positive support."

The woman has visited Larmond twice, once for a week and once for a month. The two are now engaged.

Corrections Service Canada, which can approve, deny or make alterations to the board's approved conditions, confirms it has not, to date, signed off on Larmond's overnight pass.

Larmond sent to supermax prison

Both Larmond and his brother went to high school in Ottawa. Larmond converted to Islam between 2009 and 2011, and later converted his brother. Larmond quickly descended into radicalized behaviour.

Early on in his sentence, Larmond was sent to the Special Handling Unit, Canada's highest security supermax prison for inmates who, according to the Government of Canada website, "pose an ongoing danger to staff, other inmates or the public, and who cannot be safely managed at any other maximum security institution."

Last year, Larmond hit his statutory release date, a requirement — by law, and not the Parole Board — that offenders be released after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

In 2019, the board noted in its decision that Larmond had shown "problematic institutional behaviour and security concerns" with attempts at radicalizing fellow inmates, threatening authority figures and convictions for five offences during his time in prison.

Larmond has been 'compliant'

The board rated Larmond's potential harm to the community and national security as "exceptional" in its November 2019 decision.

"You have not shown significant indications of change since incarceration, with you attempting to radicalize others and threatening authority figures," wrote the board in the 2019 decision.

At that time, the parole board rated Larmond as a high risk to public safety and felt the only way to manage his risk factors was at a halfway house.

But in its latest decision, board member C.E. Carefoot said there was no indication of further terrorist behaviour.

"You reportedly have been compliant with your supervision for approximately 10 months now," reads the decision.

Larmond is under a number of release conditions including that he not consume drugs or alcohol and that he be treated for emotions management, antisocial thought processes, and radicalization.

At the time he was sentenced, Larmond was given about 2½ years credit for the time he'd already served. His sentence is set to expire in 2021 if he doesn't breach release conditions.

His brother, Ashton Larmond, considered the ringleader, pleaded guilty to instructing to carry out activity for a terrorist group and was sentenced to 17 years in prison.