Omar Khadr has had a spotty relationship with the media spotlight since he was captured while fighting in Afghanistan. He made a brief return to the spotlight this month for his release on bail. The city destined to host him? Edmonton, Alberta. His story is infamous but would otherwise be unheard if it weren’t for a small technicality; one that took him from fighting against Canada and her allies in Afghanistan to freedom in a first-world Western city.

For those of us who need to jog the memory, Omar was an unlawful combatant aiding and abetting al-Qaeda operatives during their insurgency in Afghanistan. His father, who had ties to al-Qaeda, spent many years dragging the family across the Middle East. Omar’s father was eventually killed in a firefight between Pakistani security forces and members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which took place near the Afghanistan border in 2003.

During a patrol on July 27, 2002 in the village of Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan, American forces came into contact with an al-Qaeda cell operating in a small compound. A firefight erupted, wherein Sgt. Christopher Speer (an SF medic) was killed and Sgt. Layne Morris was wounded. All other enemy combatants were killed, save Omar who was wounded and taken into custody. In the aftermath, he was convicted of murdering Sgt. Speer and of several other war crimes. Following his capture, he spent most of his time in Guantanamo Bay before being repatriated in 2012 and eventually released.

In an interview with CBC commentator George Stroumboulopoulos, Sgt. Morris described the events of that day in great detail and effectively debunked any narrative about Omar being a ‘child soldier’ or the likes of some poor innocent lamb caught up in a fight with foreign invaders (both grotesquely false assertions often toted by his apologist fan club).