Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Let's Go Do Jihad': Accused B.C. Terrorist Explains Conversion to Islam

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Let's Go Do Jihad': Accused B.C. Terrorist Explains Conversion to Islam

Article excerpt

Accused B.C. terrorist wanted 'jihad': trial

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VANCOUVER - Accused terrorist John Nuttall told an undercover officer in the weeks leading up to his alleged Canada Day plot to attack the British Columbia legislature that he converted to Islam because he wanted "jihad," his trial heard Wednesday.

Nuttall, who is now on trial alongside his wife, sat in a police vehicle with an RCMP officer posing as an Arab businessman in June 2013, unaware their conversation was being recorded.

In a video of that encounter, Nuttall tells the officer he wants "justice" -- for what, he doesn't say -- and was drawn to Islam because of what he saw as the 9/11 hijackers' courage to "stand up."

"I wanted jihad before I became a Muslim," Nuttall says in the video, which was played for the jury.

"I just wanted justice. ... When 9/11 happened, I became really interested with these people."

Nuttall and Amanda Korody are accused of four terrorism-related charges. They both sat in the prisoners' dock Wednesday watching video and audio recordings from the undercover RCMP operation.

The Crown alleges Nuttall and Korody, who were recent converts to Islam, built pressure-cooker bombs and then placed them on the front lawn of the legislature in Victoria hours before Canada Day festivities. The RCMP ensured the bombs were inert, the Crown says.

The court hasn't heard when Nuttall and Korody converted, but Nuttall suggests he came to Islam already looking for violence.

"The first thing I said when I converted is, 'How do I worship my God?'" Nuttall says in the video.

"And my second question was, 'Where is my gun? Let's go do jihad."

Nuttall says he tried to find other Muslims in the Vancouver area who shared his views but was shunned at every mosque he visited. Some people he encountered called the police, he says.

The RCMP officer, who can't be named, told the court he befriended Nuttall by posing as a Muslim who needed help looking for his niece. …

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