Two B.C. residents, Amanda Marie Korody, 30, and John Stewart Nuttall, 39, both from the suburb of Surrey, have been charged in an alleged Canada Day terror plot at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria.
The two suspects were arrested on Monday afternoon in Abbotsford after being first covertly tracked and investigated in February 2013 by the RCMP for suspicious activity. Both suspects are Canadian born citizens and have no ties to international terror links, although they are said to have been inspired by Al Qaeda’s improvised explosive device (IEDs) methods.
RCMP Asst. Com. Wayne Rideout said “this self-radicalize behaviour was intended to cause maximum impact to Canadian citizens at the B.C. legislature on a national holiday. They took steps to educate themselves to produce explosive devices to cause injury and death.”
The threat involved pressure cooker bombs similar to the ones that were used in the Boston Marathon bombings. Contents of the improvised explosive devices included nuts, bolts, washers, nails and other deadly materials intended to kill or maim people. Both suspects allegedly plotted on planting the explosive devices on the front lawn of the B.C. Legislature during yesterday’s Canada Day celebrations, attended by 40,000 people.
According to the CBC, the suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and possession of an explosive substance. It is not immediately known what their motivations are, but they are not connected to the suspects of the Boston Bombings nor Al Qaeda. The RCMP have deemed this as a case of home grown terrorism.
Korody, approximately 30 years old, originates from St. Catharines, Ontario and moved to B.C. just a decade ago. She is said to be talented in music, but later built a drug addiction problem. Nuttall, born in 1974, is also a drug addict and is said to be a violent debt collector who has had a string of criminal records ranging from theft, mischief, assault, and breach of probation conditions. They are currently being held in custody at Surrey, and appeared briefly in court earlier today. Their next court appearance is expected to be next Tuesday.
Premier Christy Clark also made a statement today in front of the legislature after the RCMP news conference. “Let me say this about those who would resort to terror: you will not succeed.”
“You will not succeed in damaging our democratic institutions. But just as importantly, you will not succeed in tearing down the values that make this country strong.”
Clark added, “we will not let suspicion darken our hearts. Instead we will remain open hearted, depending on one another, trusting in one another and we will not be seized by anger.”
In Ottawa, federal government Public Safety Minister Vic Toews assured that the public did not face an imminent threat during the investigation. However, “yesterday’s arrests demonstrate that terrorism continues to be a real threat to Canada.”
This comes after April’s arrest of two men in Eastern Canada for allegedly plotting to detonate a VIA Rail bridge. As well, in 2006, 18 individuals were arrested in Toronto for an Al Qaeda linked plot to assassinate Prime Minister Stephen Harper, blow up Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower, and bomb the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Feature Image by PDTillman