2 arrested in Canadian terror plot 'inspired by al Qaeda ideology'
Today the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced the arrest of two Canadian-born citizens, John Stuart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody, in a terror plot targeting a public gathering at the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on Canada Day, July 1.
According to online court records, Nuttall and Korody appeared at the Surrey Provincial Court this morning. The two suspects face charges that include "conspiring to place an explosive in or against a place of public use, a government or public facility, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, for the benefit of, at the direction or in association with a terrorist group," according to an RCMP press release.
According to Canadian officials, the investigation into Nuttall and Korody began in February 2013 following a tip from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said in a prepared statement that although Nuttall and Korody were "inspired by Al Qaeda ideology," it was "a domestic threat, without international linkages." Additionally, officials said that there was no evidence that Nuttall and Korody had support from or were acting at the direction of a specific terrorist group.
Both Nuttal and Korody had engaged in "self-radicaliz[ing] behavior," according to authorities. In addition, the two "discussed a wide variety of targets and techniques" prior to their arrest. Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout said Nuttall and Korody's "self-radicalized behaviour was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the BC Legislature on a National holiday. They took steps to educate themselves and produced explosive devices designed to cause injury and death."
During today's press conference, authorities showed photos of three pressure cookers, which Nuttal and Korody intended to use as improvised explosive devices. Photos released by the RCMP show that the pressure cookers had a variety of contents, including nuts, bolts, rusty nails, and washers.
Authorities stressed that the devices were "inert" and that they "were completely under our control." The devices, authorities said, were "secured and seized" outside the BC Legislature.
When questioned during the press conference, RCMP officials said there is currently no evidence to suggest that the plot is linked to the Boston Marathon bombings, which also involved pressure cooker devices.
Today's announcement comes just over two months after authorities in Canada announced the arrests of Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jasser. The two, according to Canadian officials, had plotted to destroy a passenger train as it traveled between the United States and Canada. Esseghaier and Jasser had received "support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran" in the form of "direction and guidance," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia. And May 9, US authorities announced the arrest of Tunisian national Ahmed Abassi for links to the train terror plot.