Canadian accused of ties to al-Qaida militants serving 2 years in Mauritanian prison

An official in Mauritania says that a young Canadian man is serving two years in prison for his ties to al-Qaida's north Africa branch.

Aaron Yoon is accused of having tried to leave Mauritania to head to al-Qaida-linked training camps in northern Mali, the official said Thursday.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to journalists.

A criminal court has convicted Yoon of having ties to a terrorist group and of posing a danger to the national security of Mauritania.

Authorities say the 24-year-old Yoon had come to Mauritania to study the Quran and was later recruited by radical Islamic militants to go to Mali.

He was arrested in December 2011 and convicted last July.