[QODLink]
Archive
Canada holds 17 in terror attack plot
Seventeen people have been arrested by Canadian police in Toronto for terrorism-related offences and could face charges of plotting al-Qaeda-inspired attacks.
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2006 17:14 GMT
Police said three tonnes of ammonium nitrate were found
Seventeen people have been arrested by Canadian police in Toronto for terrorism-related offences and could face charges of plotting al-Qaeda-inspired attacks.

Mike McDonnell, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RMCP), said on Saturday that a group of 12 adults and five younger people that were arrested on Friday "were planning to commit a series of terrorist attacks against solely Canadian targets in southern Ontario".

The group is alleged to have acquired three tonnes of ammonium nitrate, commonly found in fertiliser, and "components necessary to create explosive devices."

Police said the individuals were arrested in co-ordinated raids throughout the wider Toronto area.

"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."

Painstaking probe

McDonnell said the painstaking investigation that led to the arrests had involved around 400 police and security experts.

"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-Qaeda," said Luc Portelance, assistant director of operations for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

The arrests were made in raids
throughout wider Toronto area

The group had no formal links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda  network, he added.

The 17 accused have been charged with participating in a  terrorist group's activities; training and recruitment for the  group; firearms and explosives offences; and contributing money or property for terrorist purposes.

Police exhibited items seized from a camp at an undisclosed  location in Ontario purportedly used in training for forthcoming  attacks, including flash lights, computers, and walkie talkies.

Local reports suggested the group had videotaped the CN Tower, one of the world's tallest structures, and the local subway, which  carries some 800,000 commuters each day, but officials refused to specify the intended targets.

Group monitored

According to reports, CSIS had monitored the group since 2004 and the RCMP launched an investigation last year.

The accused were now being held at a police station in  Pickering, a suburb of Toronto, and were expected to appear in court later on Saturday, officials said.

Canada's intelligence service admitted earlier this week it couldn not track down numerous domestic terror suspects and warned the country faced an increasing threat from "home-grown terrorists".

Jack Hooper, the 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 organisations thought to be linked to groups such as al-Qaeda.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.