Canada charges two in alleged plot to bomb Canada Day party

Tue Jul 2, 2013 5:27pm EDT
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By Andy Clark

SURREY, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian police said on Tuesday they arrested a Canadian man and woman in what they described as a plot inspired by al Qaeda ideology to detonate pressure-cooker bombs filled with nuts, bolts and rusty nails at a Canada Day party in British Columbia.

Police charged the suspects with plotting to set off the three home-made devices outside the parliament building in Victoria, the capital of the Pacific Coast province, during Canada Day festivities on Monday.

Police said the two suspects "were inspired by al Qaeda ideology." But there was no evidence to suggest a foreign link to their planned attack.

The suspects were identified as John Stuart Nuttall and Amanda Korody, Canadian-born citizens from Surrey, British Columbia, about 30 km (19 miles) southwest of Vancouver. They were arrested on Monday in Abbotsford, near the U.S. border.

Officials said they had monitored the pair since February and that the public was not at risk, since agents had made sure the bombs would never have exploded.

"This self-radicalized behavior was intended to create maximum impact on a national holiday," Wayne Rideout, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told a news conference. "They took steps to educate themselves and produced explosive devices designed to cause injury and death."

Canada's spy agency has expressed concern that angry and disgruntled Canadians could attack targets at home and abroad. It says some are self-radicalized, and have learned about al Qaeda from the Internet or reached out to the group's operatives.

"Yesterday's arrests demonstrate that terrorism continues to be a real threat to Canada," federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told reporters in Winnipeg, Manitoba.   Continued...

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout displays a picture of pressure cookers used by two individuals arrested while conspiring to commit an attack in Surrey, British Columbia July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Andy Clark