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Canadian authorities thwart would-be terrorist plot

July 3, 2013

Over the past five months, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) worked to collect evidence on what it believed to be a terrorist plot in the making. On July 1, the efforts of Canada's premier law enforcement agency came to fruition, as two suspects were arrested and charged the following day, according to The Globe and Mail. While some details regarding the planned attack and its would-be perpetrators have emerged, investigators remain somewhat reticent, while evidence is still being collected. Speculation is likely to swirl in phone conversations among Canadian citizens conducted using prepaid phone cards.

The news source reported that the attack would have targeted the British Columbia legislature building in the city of Victoria, using improvised, highly dangerous pressure-cooker explosive devices. As the area is a centerpiece for Canada Day celebrations, the potential for damage and loss of life could have been massive. The RCMP stated that they seized the devices from where they had been planted outside the legislature, and quickly disabled them.

John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody, residents of Surrey, British Columbia, were arrested and charged with several serious offenses: Possessing or creating explosive devices, knowingly facilitating terrorist activity and conspiring to commit an indictable offense. Nuttall converted to Islam some years ago, but the RCMP stated that neither he nor Korody received support from al-Qaeda or other fundamentalist terrorist groups.

Little is known about the two suspects. Attorney Tom Morino, who represented Nuttall in another matter five years ago, told USA Today that Nuttall's religious beliefs were not, to his knowledge, tied to any interest in al-Qaeda or terrorism. He further clarified that he only knew Korody as "a very, very quiet young lady who appeared very devoted to their relationship."

By contrast, RCMP Superintendent Wayne Rideout characterized the event as "self-radicalized behavior...intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens," USA Today reported.

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