Canada police make explosives arrest before G8/G20

Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:13pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Police said on Wednesday they have charged a Toronto man with possession of explosives as security tightens in the run-up to the G8 and G20 summits of world leaders in Canada later this week.

The 37-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday and is facing several charges including possession of explosives for unlawful purposes, attempted mischief and intimidation of the justice system.

He appeared in court on Wednesday for a bail hearing that was adjourned until the weekend, and will remain in custody until then.

Both the defense and prosecution declined to comment further.

The Integrated Security Unit, which is policing the summits, did not disclose what, if any, direct threat the man may have posed to the summits.

The Group of Eight meeting starts on Thursday in Huntsville, Ontario, a lake district resort town north of Toronto. The G20 meeting will follow in downtown Toronto.

Police using a search warrant raided the Toronto house, in the city's affluent Forest Hill neighborhood, where the man was arrested, police said in a news release.

Officials expect the summits to be the subject of a range of protests, with the leaders protected by a C$1 billion ($960 million) security plan under which areas of downtown Toronto have been fenced off. There is already a heavy police presence in the center of the city.

Three people were arrested earlier this month in connection with an arson attack on a bank branch in Ottawa. An anarchist group claimed responsibility and said it also planned to disrupt the G20 summit.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)

(Reporting by Claire Sibonney and Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)

 
<p>A police officer stands guard as people cross the street ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>