An Ottawa man arrested in connection with terrorism charges made his first court appearance today.

25-year-old Awso Peshdary was ordered not to communicate with a long list of people, including his two co-accused.  Wearing a black coat, sporting a heavy beard, Peshdary spent his time in court mostly looking ahead, at one point glancing at his family seated to the back of the courtroom.  His father, mother, sister and wife were in attendance.  They refused comment as they left the Elgin Street courthouse. 

Peshdary was arrested yesterday in Ottawa and charged by RCMP with terrorism offences along with two other Ottawa area men; Khadar Khalib and John Maguire. 

‘The charges against these individuals are very serious,’ says public prosecutor Rod Sonley, ‘Peshdary's charges on the docket today have sentences of 14 years maximum and 10 years maximum so they're serious offences.’

The four charges include conspiracy to participate in the activities of a terrorist organization, and facilitating the activities of a terrorist organization.

With Maguire and Khalib both in Syria, that leaves Peshdary to face these charges alone. His lawyer says his client is surprised by the charges and will plead not guilty.   

‘He's doing as well as can be expected,’ said Richard Morris outside court, ‘He's surprised and dismayed with the charges he's facing but he’s doing as well as you might expect.’

The RCMP allege that Peshdary was the one recruiting local jihadists here to fight overseas. The Iraqi-born Muslim had been arrested before in 2010 as part of Project Samossa. He was ultimately acquitted. 

Recently, he worked at the Pinecrest Queensway Community Centre and was involved with the Algonquin College Muslim Students Association, along with Khadar Khalib.

Algonquin says it's not aware of any recruitment being done.

‘I know we haven't had any complaints about speech or extreme remarks from students and we monitor that on regular basis,’ says Doug Wotherspoon, the Vice President of Communications for Algonquin College. Wotherspoon says the college did meet today with the Muslim Students Association.

‘We've reached out to the Muslim Students Association to offer our support to make sure these types of voices aren't on campus, that they aren’t happening in our classrooms and corridors and we're confident that's the case.’

In court today, Peshdary was ordered not to communicate with several students within that association along with a string of other people, including John Maguire and Khadar Khalib.

The prosecution asked for that non-communication order because it was concerned about the possibility of some witnesses being intimidated.  Peshdary’s lawyer says the prosecution has failed to disclose evidence as of yet to help his client understand the charges he is facing.  The case is back in court on Monday.