OT: Canada arrests terror suspects; explosives found
- From: stananger < stananger@********.***>
- Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2006 06:48:01 -1000
Canada arrests terror suspects; explosives found
Sat Jun 3, 2006 11:24 AM ET
TORONTO (Reuters) - A group of Canadian residents arrested for "terrorism
related offenses" had amassed enough explosives to build huge bombs and
were planning to blow up targets around southern Ontario, Canadian police
said on Saturday.
Mike McDonnell, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,
said the group had acquired three tonnes of ammonium nitrate -- or three
times the amount used in the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City -- as they
sought to "create explosive devices."
Police said they had arrested 12 adults and five young people in coordinated
raids in the Toronto area. The adults were from Toronto, its western suburb
of Mississauga and from Kingston, Ontario, at the eastern edge of Lake
Ontario, not far from the border with the United States.
"This group posed a real and serious threat," McDonnell said. "It had the
capacity and intent to carry out attacks. Our investigation and arrests
prevented the assembly of any bombs and the attacks being carried out."
McDonnell said the investigation that led to the arrests had involved some
400 police and security experts, and taken thousands of hours.
"We must remain vigilant," he said. "Canada is susceptible to criminal
terrorist activity as much as any other country."
Canada's spy service admitted this week it couldn't track down many domestic
terror suspects and warned the country faced an increasing threat from
"home-grown terrorists" who had been assimilated into society.
Jack Hooper, deputy director of operations at the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service said the service was trying to keep track of "350
high-level targets" as well as 50 to 60 organizations thought to be linked
to groups such as al-Qaeda.
"We know who and where some of them are," he told the Senate's national
defense committee on Monday in Ottawa.
17 Terror Suspects Arrested in Toronto
Jun 03 11:09 AM US/Eastern
By BETH DUFF-BROWN
Associated Press Writer
Seventeen Canadian residents were in custody Saturday on terrorism- related
charges, including plots to use explosives in attacks on Canadian soil,
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they arrested 12 male adults and five
youth and foiled plans for terrorist attacks against targets in southern
Officials showed evidence of bomb making materials, a computer hard drive,
camouflage uniforms and what appears to be a door with bullet holes in it
at a news conference Saturday morning.
"This group took steps to acquire three tons of ammonium nitrate and other
components necessary to create explosive devices," said assistant Royal
Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Mike McDonell said.
McDonell said that is three times the amount used to blow up the Murrah
Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
The arrests were made Friday, with some 400 officers involved.
McDonell said the suspects were either citizens or residents of Canada and
had trained together.
"The men arrested yesterday are Canadian residents from a variety of
backgrounds. For various reasons they appeared to have become adherents of
a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida," said Luc Portelance, the
assistant director of operations with CSIS _ Canada's spy agency.
Heavily armed police officers ringed the Durham Regional Police Station in
the city of Pickering, just east of Toronto, as the suspects were brought
in late Friday night in unmarked cars which were drove into an underground
The Toronto Star reported Saturday that Canadian youths in their teens and
20s, upset at the treatment of Muslims worldwide, were among those
The newspaper said they had trained at a camp north of Toronto and had
plotted to attack CSIS's downtown office near the CN Tower, among other
Melisa Leclerc, a spokeswoman for the federal Public Safety Minister
Stockwell Day, had no comment on the arrests.
In March 2004, Ottawa software developer Mohammad Momin Khawaja became the
first Canadian charged under the country's Anti-Terrorism Act for alleged
activities in Ottawa and London. Khawaja was also named, but not charged,
in British for playing a role in a foiled bomb plot. He is being held in an
Ottawa detention center, awaiting trial.
The Canadian anti-terrorism law was passed swiftly following the Sept. 11
assaults, particularly after Osama bin-Laden's named Canada one of five
so-called Christian nations that should be targeted for acts of terror. The
others, reaffirmed in 2004 by his al-Qaida network, were the United States,
Britain, Spain and Australian, all of which have been victims of terrorist
The anti-terrorism law permits the government to brand individuals and
organizations as terrorists and gives police the power to make preventive
arrests of people suspected of planning a terrorist attack.
Though many view Canada as an unassuming neutral nation that has skirted
terrorist attacks, it has suffered its share of aggression, including the
1985 Air India bombing, in which 329 people were killed, most of them
Intelligence officials believe at least 50 terror groups now have some
presence in the North American nation and have long complained that the
country's immigration laws and border security are too weak to weed out
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