Two people were charged last week in one of the most disturbing terrorist plots to be hatched on Canadian soil.
John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody were arrested July 1 on terrorism-related charges after the planting of disabled pressure cooker bombs outside the legislature in Victoria.
Yet, only days later, civil libertarians were calling for more detail on how police investigated the Canada Day bomb plot, to see if officers came too close to entrapping the accused Surrey couple.
Doubts have grown in some minds about the pair’s ability to carry out an act of terrorism as more information emerged about their impoverished life, living on social assistance without a vehicle and getting methadone treatment for drug addiction. Police say they became “self-radicalized” to support the Al-Qaeda ideology and posed a serious threat to kill or maim people.
Micheal Vonn, policy director for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said the concern is that undercover officers may have interacted with the suspects to further the plot and provide assistance. Authorities apparently knew of the plan for five months, and were closely monitoring the couple.
Vonn sees parallels to the “Mr. Big” investigations where officers pose as a crime boss and his henchmen, and goad a suspect to say or do incriminating things in order to become part of the organization.
It is hard to imagine two people voluntarily agreeing to be involved in a plan to kill and wound hundreds of Canada Day revellers.
And if police did engage with the suspects to determine how far they’d go, or if others were involved, it simply shows there are confused or “radicalized” or unbalanced individuals out there vulnerable to suggestions that such evil violence is justified.
Kudos to the Canadian secret service and the RCMP for doing their jobs – the protection of innocent people.