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Judge to decide next week on fitness assessment for woman facing terror charges

Last Updated Aug 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm EDT

TORONTO – An Ontario judge will decide by next week if a fitness assessment is required for a Toronto-area woman facing terror charges in an alleged attack at a Canadian Tire store.

A lawyer appointed by the court to assist Rehab Dughmosh recommended at a court hearing Monday that the 32-year-old woman undergo the assessment to see if she is fit to stand trial.

A Crown prosecutor agreed with that request.

Dughmosh is facing a total of 21 charges, including attempted murder of at least three people for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group.

She appeared in court by video link after a judge ordered her to be brought from her cell by force. Dughmosh had previously refused to appear in court on multiple occasions.

Ingrid Grant, the court-appointed lawyer designated to assist Dughmosh, said the recommendation for a fitness assessment was based on Dughmosh’s refusal to engage with the court.

During Monday’s hearing, Dughmosh, speaking through an Arabic translator, called those in the court “infidels,” and said she doesn’t worship what they worship.

The judge presiding over the case said she’ll have decided by next Monday — at Dughmosh’s next scheduled court hearing — whether a fitness assessment should take place or not.

Terror-related charges against Dughmosh were laid by the RCMP in early July.

Some of them relate to carrying several weapons, such as a knife and a bow, for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group.

Dughmosh is also charged with leaving Canada for the purpose of committing a crime, an incident that is alleged to have taken place in April of last year.

She is also charged with other offences that include assault with a weapon and uttering death threats.

Police allege Dughmosh swung a golf club at Canadian Tire employees and a customer on June 3 and threatened them. They allege she then pulled a large knife from under her clothes but store staff pried it out of her hands and restrained her.

Media reports have said Dughmosh pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group during a previous court appearance.