Canada Day bombing attempt at Victoria Legislative Buildings foiled; two arrested
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British Columbia Premier Christy Clark speaks to news media outside the British Columbia Legislative Buildings in Victoria today after two Canadian-born citizens were arrested in what police described as al-Qaida-inspired plot to blow up the legislature on Canada Day, which was Monday. -- Photo by Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press via The Associated Press

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VICTORIA — Canadian authorities have arrested and charged a man and woman with terrorism for attempting to leave pressure-cooker bombs at Victoria's iconic Legislative Buildings on Canada Day, when thousands of people were gathered outside.

Among the gathering was a delegation of about 30 Canada Day well-wishers from the North Olympic Peninsula led by Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd.

There was no explosion, injuries or damage, and Canada Day celebrations in and around the Inner Harbour — which the Legislative Buildings face — went on without interruption.

The 125-year-old stone buildings are on Belleville Street, only a block from the terminal where the MV Coho ferry from Port Angeles ties up.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said Tuesday that suspects John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody were inspired by al-Qaida ideology but were self-radicalized.

He called it a domestic threat without international connections.

Malizia told a news conference in Surrey, B.C., that 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.

Police said the pair targeted the celebrations, but the bombs were found outside the Legislative Buildings before the crowds gathered.

“This self-radicalized behavior was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the B.C. Legislature on a national holiday,” RCMP Superintendent Wayne 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,” B.C. Premier Christy Clark said Tuesday.

“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.”

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

Police said they received a tip from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that led to what Rideout called a five-month investigation. He said the pair discussed a wide variety of targets and techniques.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews credited information-sharing among security and law enforcement agencies for the arrest. Canada's security intelligence service has long warned of homegrown and external terrorism threats.

Last modified: July 02. 2013 3:06PM
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