WATCH: Suspect "shocked" by terrorism-related charge

The lawyer for the man accused of leaving Canada to join ISIS says her client is "shocked" by the charge against him.

The RCMP allege that Pamir Hakimzadah travelled to Turkey in 2014 to participate in a terrorist activity.

He was already in custody after being charged by Toronto police for uttering threats and assault.

Hakimzadah made a short court appearance Thursday to face the new terrorism-related charge. Wearing jeans and a grey shirt, he kept his hands together and head down as his lawyer told the justice that they are eager to move forward with his case.

"I'm going to defend my client the best way I can," lawyer Rishma Gupta later told reporters.

Gupta says Hakimzadah is shocked and upset about the accusations made against him, and that, "he's not involved in something like that."

"We're in a culture where ... anybody could be charged with terrorism," she said.

The RCMP say they started their investigation in January of 2016, but Gupta says she finds it suspect that they only laid a charge against her client this week.

Hakimzadah's case will be back in court April 26.