VANCOUVER – Two Canadian-born citizens have been arrested in what the RCMP described as al-Qaida-inspired plot to blow up the British Columbia legislature on Canada Day, officials with the force announced Tuesday, as they displayed photos of alleged pressure cooker bombs reminiscent of the deadly Boston Marathon bombing.
John Stewart Nuttall, born in 1974, and Amanda Marie Korody, born in 1983, were each charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, making or possessing an explosive device, and conspiracy. They were arrested in Abbotsford on Monday, the RCMP said.
Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout said there was no evidence to suggest the plot was connected to international terrorism, but he said investigators nonetheless believe the threat was real.
“This self-radicalized behaviour was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the B.C. legislature on a national holiday,” Rideout told a news conference in Surrey, B.C.
“They took steps to educate themselves and produce explosive devices designed to cause injury and death. … They discussed a wide variety of targets and techniques.”
Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said the suspects were inspired by “al-Qaida ideology,” though he said little about the specific motivation for the alleged plot.
“There is no evidence to indicate that these individuals had the support or were acting at the direction of a terrorist group, per se,” said Malizia.
Rideout said the RCMP were in control during the investigation and ensured the alleged explosives could not be detonated.
During the news conference, the RCMP displayed photos of three pressure cookers alleged to have been used to construct the bombs.
Nuttall and Korody were arrested in Abbotsford, police said.