Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Couple Plotted to Bomb Legislature, Aimed to Be 'Al-Qaida Canada': Crown

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Couple Plotted to Bomb Legislature, Aimed to Be 'Al-Qaida Canada': Crown

Article excerpt

Couple plotted to bomb B.C. legislature: Crown

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VANCOUVER - A couple from British Columbia who styled themselves the sole members of "al-Qaida Canada" built pressure-cooker bombs and planted them on the grounds of the provincial legislature hours before Canada Day festivities, the Crown alleged Monday.

The bombs did not explode -- undercover RCMP officers ensured they were inert -- but John Nuttall and Amanda Korody intended to kill and maim an untold number of victims on July 1, 2013, in the name of radical Islam, Crown counsel Peter Eccles said at the start of a lengthy terrorism trial.

"Planting IEDs (improvised explosive devices) on the front lawn of the parliament building set to go off in the middle of Canada Day activities is a terrorist activity," Eccles told the jury hearing the case.

Nuttall and Korody have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to commit murder, conspiring to place explosives on behalf of a terrorist group, facilitating terrorist activity and possessing explosives on behalf of a terrorist group.

Nuttall, 40, who wore a dark suit jacket, smiled during the hearing and occasionally turned to smile or wave at his mother and another relative in the public gallery. Korody, who is about 30, wore a green shawl and mostly looked down as the Crown outlined the allegations.

They were arrested in July 2013 after an undercover operation that began months earlier.

An undercover RCMP officer met Nuttall in early March at a gas station near the couple's Vancouver-area home, said Eccles. The officer posed as an Arab businessman searching for his niece and he enlisted Nuttall's help.

Before long, Eccles said, Nuttall told the officer he was a recent convert to Islam who considered himself part of the mujahedeen, or holy warriors, and that he was behind enemy lines.

Nuttall later expressed his support for the bombing of the Boston Marathon, which happened in April of that year, and he was particularly interested in the type of bomb that was used, said Eccles.

The plan to target the legislature took shape over the next several months, Eccles said, and many of Nuttall and Korody's interactions with the undercover officers and each other were captured on video. …

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