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B.C. attack inspired by Boston bombing: Crown

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

John Nuttall (left) and Amanda Korody (right) are depicted during their terror trial in this courtroom sketch in Vancouver, Feb. 2, 2015. (FELICITY DON/Reuters)

John Nuttall (left) and Amanda Korody (right) are depicted during their terror trial in this courtroom sketch in Vancouver, Feb. 2, 2015. (FELICITY DON/Reuters)

VANCOUVER - A pair of accused B.C. terrorists were inspired by the pressure-cooker bombs used by the Boston Marathon attackers when they set about planning an attack on the B.C. legislature on Canada Day 2013, according to the Crown. 

John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody both appeared on their first day of trial at B.C. Supreme Court, charged with four counts in relation to the alleged terror plot.

The Crown is accusing the couple of being in a “terror group” of their own, and making explosives with the intention of creating an event that would “rock the world.”

But the bombs — while planted in two locations outside the legislature on July 1 — had been rigged by police who managed to infiltrate the pair’s plan so they wouldn’t explode.

The case began in February 2013 when, according to prosecutor Peter Eccles, an undercover police officer attempted a “cold call” meet with Nuttall at a gas station near Nuttall’s residence. The plan was for the officer to start a conversation on the premise that the officer — who played an Arabic businessman — was looking for his missing niece. 

It took two tries. The first time the officer only managed eye contact with Nuttall, but the introduction was completed after a second encounter a week later. 

Nuttall agreed to help in the search and mentioned his recent conversion to Islam, the court heard, even allegedly saying at one point that he had planned to go to Pakistan to participate in jihad. 

In the conversation, Nuttall, Eccles said, considered those who worked in government “fair game” in Jihad-styled attacks. 

Over the next months, the officer met with Nuttall many times. Initially, the Crown alleged, Nuttall’s plan was to build rockets to be fired at the B.C. legislature. Limited resources, however, meant the plan couldn’t proceed. 

Then, in April, the Boston Marathon massacre happened. 

Nuttall “praised” the bombing suspects, Eccles said, and the plan shifted. The police wanted to know Nuttall’s plan and asked what materials he needed.

At one point, another officer posing as the undercover policeman’s brother was introduced to Nuttall as “the man who had access to guns, ammo.”

It was decided that three pressure cookers and other bomb-making materials would be bought — with the explosives of choice being either C4 or black powder.

A month before Canada Day, the undercover officer asked whether Nuttall would continue with the plan had they not met. 

“I’d be making this kettle bomb right now,” Eccles said, quoting Nuttall’s alleged reply. 

“Either that or ... me and my wife we would get guns and set up a base.”

In the course of the bomb-making, the Crown said Nuttall declared to Korody that they were now “al-Qaida Canada,” though Eccles added it’s unlikely the terror organization were aware of the couple. 

Outside court, Nuttall’s mother Maureen Smith Nuttall said the pair were set up by police.

“They need to catch the real terrorists,” she said of her son, who attended Christian school for seven years in his youth.

“Listening to the charges just makes me sick, because it’s all made up. It’s just horrendous.”


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