Tuesday 19 September 2017

Pair face Canada Day terror charges

Three pressure cookers recovered outside the British Columbia's provincial legislature building (AP/The Canadian Press, Royal Canadian Mounted Police)
Three pressure cookers recovered outside the British Columbia's provincial legislature building (AP/The Canadian Press, Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

A couple attempted to leave pressure cooker bombs at British Columbia's provincial parliament building on Canada Day, when thousands of people were expected to be there, police said.

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were inspired by al Qaida ideology but were self-radicalised, Assistant Commissioner James Malizia of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. He called it a domestic threat without international connections.

Mr Malizia told a news conference there was no evidence or indication to suggest a connection to the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in April, which used bombs made from pressure cookers.

Supt Wayne Rideout said the public was never at risk and the threat was detected early.

Nuttall and Korody were arrested on Monday, as thousands attended the Canada Day celebrations at the legislature in the provincial capital of Victoria. Police said the pair targeted the celebrations, but the bombs were found outside the building before the crowds gathered.

"This self-radicalised behaviour was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the BC legislature on a national holiday," Mr Rideout said. "They took steps to educate themselves and produce explosive devices designed to cause injury and death."

The pair has been charged with conspiracy, facilitating a terrorist activity and making an explosive device.

"A day after thousands of patriotic Canadians gathered on these grounds to celebrate the founding of our nation, I'm incredibly relieved to know that there was never any risk to anyone," British Columbia premier Christy Clark said. "We're also told that the suspects have no ties to any groups inside or outside Canada. Again, an incredible relief that these two individuals appeared to be working alone."

Mr Rideout stressed the pressure cooker devices were under police control and were inert.

Nuttall and Korody made a brief court appearance on Tuesday and will return on July 9 for a bail hearing.

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