“Canadian Idol” Hopeful a Terror Suspect

Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 PM PDT
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YouTube/Canadian Idol

A failed pop star has been accused of being a terrorist.

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A wannabe “Idol” has been arrested for plotting terrorism.

Khurram Syed Sher, a 28-year-old doctor who moonwalked in front of reality TV judges two years ago while competing on “Canadian Idol,” will soon face a different kind of judge for terrorism-related charges, according to reports.

His Thursday arrest came a day after two other Canadian nationals faced charges in connection with the alleged plot to bomb unspecified targets in and outside the country, The Associated Press reported. Police said they seized 50 electronic circuit boards in connection with the case that could be used as remote-controlled bomb triggers, the wire service reported.

"The arrests have prevented the gathering of bombs and the execution of one or many terrorist attacks," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Chief Supt. Serge Therriault told the AP.

According to the Toronto Star, Sher is a Canada-born and educated pathologist at a small-town hospital near London, Ontario, who is of Pakistani descent. He visited Pakistan in 2005 to assist earthquake survivors, the Star reported.

But while competing on Canada’s version of “American Idol,” Sher claimed he’d immigrated from Pakistan in 2005.

For his audition, he donned a traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez and pashtun hat, and affected a fake foreign accent, Sher’s mystified colleagues told the Star.

“He did it as a joke, he told us,” one person who “knew Sher well” told the Star.

Either way, Sher didn’t make it far on “Idol.”

“I can sing different things like Hillary Duff and or Avril Lavigne,” he tells the show’s judges in a YouTube clip of the audition, and is asked to perform Lavigne’s “Complicated.”

During the odd performance -- which could be described as “pitchy” at best -- Sher sways goofily, but also does the moonwalk and a brief robot move.

“Have you ever thought of being a comedian?” one judge asks after he finishes singing.

Those who worked with Sher said he did not seem particularly religious and dressed casually, according to the Star.

They reportedly could not believe the same person who'd auditioned for “Idol” would be accused of being a terrorist.

Selected Reading: The Associated Press, Toronto Star, NYT
 

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