Few people at the college are willing to discuss the academic life of the Algonquin social services worker graduate that has been charged with terrorism-related offences.
The Times reached out to more than 70 of Peshdary’s former classmates on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 through Facebook and email but only received comment from five students.
“I would describe him as dedicated to his religion,” said a student from Awso Peshdary’s graduating class, who asked not to be identified. “But never in a million years would I, or anyone else, have imagined he would be affiliated with a terrorist organization.”
“All I can tell you about Awso, is that he came across as the kind of person that genuinely cares for people,” said the same student. “He even bought Timbits for the class once.”
“I was shocked to hear the news,” said another student. “Last person I thought this would happen to. I also don’t believe any of it.”
While most of Peshdary’s classmates echoed the same sentiments, one student had a different view on the charges.
“In no way do I believe he wouldn’t have been arrested if the police didn’t think it was necessary,” said another student.
When the Crown read Peshdary the charges against him, he kept his hands in the pockets of his winter jacket.
Peshdary was the most recent arrest made in an RCMP investigation called Project Servant. He has appeared in court four times in 2015, both by video and in-person.
“He was the last guy I would have expected to be involved in something like this,” said another student, again requesting anonymity.