Korody and Nuttall were arrested and charged with possession of these Boston Marathon-style pressure cooker bombs.

Korody and Nuttall were arrested and charged with possession of these Boston Marathon-style pressure cooker bombs.

Surrey duo arrested in foiled plot to bomb Canada Day crowd at Legislature in Victoria

Police call it case of domestic terrorism, inspired by 'Al-Qaeda'; Premier to speak



Two Surrey residents accused of planting pressure cooker bombs outside the B.C. legislature on Canada Day are described by police as “Al-Qaeda-inspired” but “self-radicalized.”

B.C. RCMP arrested John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody in Abbotsford at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon after a five-month investigation that began in February.

The alleged homegrown terror plot is similar to that of the Boston Marathon bombers, who used pressure cooker bombs to send shrapnel through the crowd near the race’s finish line on April 15.

RCMP seized what they are calling three “improvised explosive devices” that were made from pressure cookers that contained nails, bolts, nuts and washers and were placed on the legislative assembly grounds.

Nuttall, 38 and Korody, 29, are charged with making or possessing an explosive device, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and knowingly facilitating terrorist activity.

“These individuals were inspired by Al-Qaeda ideology,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said. “Our investigation has determined this was a domestic threat without international linkages.”

The alleged motive of the two accused is not clear.

Police wouldn’t discuss any connection to Islamic beliefs or religion, but landlords in north Surrey described them as devout Muslim converts whose unstable behaviour was alarming enough to prompt calls to police.

The RCMP says the pair “took steps to build explosive devices and place them at the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria where crowds were expected to gather on Canada Day.”

The legislative lawn and inner harbour were crowded with an estimated 40,000 revelers for Monday’s Canada Day concert and fireworks.

Police aren’t saying if undercover officers were working with the duo but Malizia said they were being closely monitored and police ensured the bombs were inert and could not detonate.

“While the RCMP believed this threat was real, at no time was the security of the public at risk,” Malizia said. “We detected the threat early and disrupted it.”

The arrests were made after a joint investigation of the RCMP E Division, the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, dubbed Project Souvenir.

“I want to reassure our citizens that at all times during the investigation, our primary focus was the safety and protection of the public,” Malizia said.

Nor was the Canada Day crowd in Victoria the only potential target that may have been contemplated.

“The suspects were committed to acts of violence and discussed a wide variety of targets and techniques,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout, adding they were “self-radicalized” and aimed to cause “maximum impact to Canadian citizens at the B.C. Legislature on a national holiday.”

A variety of covert investigation methods were used to control any method the suspects had to commit harm, he added.

Rideout said the bombs are believed to have been made in Surrey and at other locations in B.C.

“As these devices were constructed we were in very tight control,” he said. “We were confident that public risk was absolutely minimized.”

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said the two alleged terrorists have lived in Surrey for about 18 months and had a transient lifestyle, moving fluidly in the region from Delta to Surrey to Vancouver.

She couldn’t say whether the pair had substance abuse issues.

“I can’t confirm that, I know that they had significant challenges in their life,” Watts said.

She also understands they gathered much of their information about what they were doing from the internet.

“I think they’re fairly unsophisticated,” Watts said.

Korody has no prior criminal charges, but Nuttall was convicted of robbery in 2003 in Victoria and received an 18-month conditional sentence. An addicted drug user at the time, Nuttall had hit a businessman on the head with a rock and stole his briefcase.

In March 2010, he was convicted of assault, mischief and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose – also in Victoria – and received a 60-day conditional sentence (house arrest) and one year of probation.

News sources have identified an account on music website Reverbnation as Nuttall’s, where he has posted four of his own songs, two of them titled “In League With Satan” and “The End of the World”.

Nuttall and Korody appeared in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday and make their next appearance July 9.

Victoria was the site of at least one terrorist plot in the past, the Millennium bomber plot in 2000. Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian member of Al Qaeda, assembled bomb materials while staying at a Vancouver motel, then loaded them in the trunk of his car and traveled to Victoria.

Ressam attempted to enter the U.S. on the MV Coho ferry from Victoria to Washington, but he was arrested by U.S. border security at Port Angeles.

– with files from Tom Fletcher, Kolby Solinsky, Kevin Diakiw and Vikki Hopes

See related story: ‘We will not let them win:’ Premier Clark

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Veteran Henry Kriwokon has his photo taken by the Western as he celebrates his 99th birthday with friends at the Cellar in Downtown Penticton. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Turning 101, Penticton veteran looks back on life

Henry Kriwokon was one of the soldiers in the famous ‘Wait for me, Daddy’ photo

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read