On July 2, Canadian authorities announced the arrest of two Canadian-born citizens in a terror plot involving pressure cooker bombs. The two suspects, who were “inspired by al Qaeda ideology,” targeted a public gathering at the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on Canada Day, July 1.
Over the past 24 hours, details have emerged on the two suspects, John Stuart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody, who authorities said had “self-radicalized.” According to Nuttall’s attorney, Tom Morino, the two suspects are a couple and “refer to each other as husband and wife.”
Morino also revealed that Nuttall, born in 1974, is a “convert to Islam,” according to the Associated Press. Although Morino did not know if Korody, born in 1983, had also converted, the Toronto Star reported that “[a]n acquaintance of Korody’s from high school said she believed Korody converted to Islam about three years ago.” When Nuttall and Korody first moved into the basement dwelling “he was not a practising Muslim, but converted to Islam about two years ago,” the Vancouver Sun reported.
Morino said that he was “not aware of any mosque with which he [Nuttall] is affiliated,” but according to the Vancouver Sun the suspects’ landlady said the couple “visited a local mosque and listened to radical Islamist tapes in their basement suite.” Korody would wear a burkah to the mosque, the landlady said.
Neighbors have said that Nuttall and Korody “wore traditional Muslim clothes or camouflage” and were [v]ery into guns and paintball,” a reporter for CKNW News Talk 980 in Vancouver tweeted on Tuesday evening. Additionally, one neighbor reportedly called the police once when Nuttall was “wandering up and down the street in the middle of the night, like two o’ clock in the morning, yelling into his cell phone about blowing things up … talking about Canadian Forces and Islam right now and if this person on the phone didn’t give him the answers he wanted he was prepared to do whatever he had to do to get to the afterlife,” the neighbor said. Stefano Pasta, who previously played in a band with Nuttal, described him as “opinionated and political,” according to the CBC.
Nuttall is known to have a criminal history dating back to at least 1997, according to online court records. In 2003, for example, Nuttall was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for a May 2002 incident in which he “bonked a businessman on the head with a rock before running off with his briefcase,” according to the Times Colonist. At the time of his sentencing, the aforementioned Tom Morino said that Nuttall “appears to have turned his life around.” Nuttall was allowed by the court to serve his sentence, according to the Times Colonist, at home.
Nuttall and Korody, who are reportedly “recovering addicts,” are said to have been very involved with music. Video of the couple’s apartment taken by Vancouver Sun noted that methadone bottles were found in their home.
A profile believed to belong to Nuttall on Reverb Nation includes songs titled “In League with Satan” and “The End of the World.” A band known as Lus‡ Boys said yesterday that Nuttall, who has gone by the name Johnny Blade, was previously a guitarist in the group. Nuttall also previously played in a “short-lived punk band [called] Rat Salad,” according to the Times Colonist.
Korody, who was adopted by a family in Ontario and moved to Western Canada a decade ago, was known for her singing and guitar playing, according to a cousin who spoke with the Toronto Star.
Some Canadian media outlets have speculated that Nuttall may have been a member of a group called No World Order (NWO), a Muslim punk band. A user named Johnny Blade, who claimed to be a member of NWO, wrote in August 2011 that the group was “looking to meet anyone else into Allah and hardcore punk.”
In a separate forum post in November 2011, a user named Johnny Blade with the same profile picture wrote, “I lost my brother last year from an IED in afganistan (sic).” The same user claimed to have written a song about his brother titled “Guns.” A YouTube upload of the song is no longer accessible, but a separate profile believed to belong to Nuttall appears to maintain a 30-second recording of the song uploaded in April 2008.
During yesterday’s press conference, RCMP officials said that John Nuttall was not the brother of Lt. Andrew Nuttall who died while serving with the Canadian army in Afghanistan in late 2009, however.
Canadian media outlets have begun to speculate as to whether Nuttall and Korody used al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine. The RCMP has not yet responded to a Long War Journal request for comment on whether Inspire was used by either of the two suspects.
Both Nuttall and Korody will next appear in court on July 9.
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