Terror cell plotted to attack Canadian troops at home


Toronto : The alleged ringleader of an Islamist terror cell planned to attack Canadian troops at their home bases, instead of targeting them in Afghanistan, a Brampton city court near here was told at the trial of one suspect.

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The testimony came at the ongoing trial of one of the suspects in what has become known as the Toronto-18 case.

The alleged plot was unearthed in June 2006 when the police arrested 17 people from the Toronto suburb of Mississauga. One more person was picked up later.

The alleged plotters, linked to Al Qaeda, planned to hit the commercial heart of Toronto, and storm the Canadian parliament, take leaders hostage and behead the prime minister.

To carry out the plot, they allegedly underwent training in firearms at a camp in the interiors of Ontario province in December 2005.

Using a local Muslim as an informant, the police claim they intercepted their conversation – over a period of time – which is now being presented as evidence against them.

Of the 18 suspects, 10 are in jail and four on bail. The trial of three has been stayed.

The trial of the 18th person is now under way.

In an intercept played by the prosecution before court Thursday, the alleged ringleader speaks to a man named Talib (not named as a suspect) about arranging $10,000 to pay for 13 weapons – AK-47s and assault rifles – he had ordered from Mexico to carry out the plot.

In response, Talib tells the ringleader that they can scam a bank by using a “presentable” blonde woman – who will get a 15 percent “cut” – to get a loan of $25,000.

He adds he will then get the cheque encashed at Money Mart through someone he knows at a 30 percent “cut”.

Later in the intercept, the alleged ringleader talks about how their plot against Canada will be much bigger in devastation than the London bombings of July 2005.

“They’re probably expecting what happened in London. Some bombing in subway killed 10 people and everybody gets deported, we’re not doing that,” he says.

Then he adds: “You do it once and you make sure they can never recover again … Everything is set. It’s just us covering our own end and preparing for what we have to prepare. And that’s get as many bases as possible.”

In another intercept, the alleged ringleader talks about retaliation against Canadian troops because of Ottawa’s mission in Afghanistan, saying it makes sense to hit them in Canada rather than in Afghanistan where they can “carpet bomb” hundreds of Muslims.

“Look around, I mean these same soldiers that are training in their military bases here (in Canada) are gonna go to Afghanistan and fight there … it doesn’t make sense to go to Afghanistan and fight them where they’re already prepared for you. Why can’t you attack them here?” he suggests.

He also tells Talib that though there are “only 50 guys” in his group, “there’s another group like me that went there and they got another 50, another 50, and the next thing you know you have thousands”.

The defence has called the plot a mere fantasy.