TORONTO – Jailed terror suspects accused of plotting attacks in Canada had been making plans to detonate truck bombs against the stock exchange and the country's spy agency, according to a news report citing court documents.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which obtained the documents filed in the case against 12 men and five teenagers, reported that some of the men allegedly identified possible targets including the Toronto Stock Exchange, an unspecified military installation and the headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
A defense lawyer for one suspect revealed earlier that prosecutors accuse some of the Muslim defendants of plotting to storm Parliament, take politicians hostage and behead them unless Canada withdrew its troops from Afghanistan.
Canadian authorities have released only a terse summary of the charges. More detailed documents, though not officially released, have been obtained by some Canadian news organizations.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced Saturday that authorities had foiled a terrorist attack and said 12 men and five teenagers had obtained three tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, three times what was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
But some police later said that although the suspects had sought to obtain ammonium nitrate, they actually had been delivered a safe substance instead during a sting last Friday. It remained unclear whether the men had obtained the material used in making bombs.
According to court documents cited by the CBC, 20-year-old Zakaria Amara led efforts to buy enough ammonium nitrate through sellers on the Internet to make three truck bombs, and had obtained a remote triggering device that investigators found at his home in Mississauga, just west of Toronto.
One of the suspects, Steven Vikash Chand — who went by the alias of Abdul Shakur — belonged to a military reservist unit, the Royal Regiment of Canada, police Cmdr. Denise Laviolette said. The CBC said he had received some military training.
The documents also allege that Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, was helping collect the bomb-making materials, the CBC reported. Abdelhaleen paid an undercover police officer $1,796 as a down payment for the non-lethal chemicals, the broadcaster said.
It said the group rented a warehouse to stash the bomb-making supplies.
Two other suspects, Saad Khalid, 19, and a juvenile whose name is protected by federal privacy laws, were arrested at the warehouse last Friday, according to documents cited by the CBC. Those two had apparently been lining cardboard boxes with plastic in order to hide bags of fertilizer.
Officials have said that they expect more arrests and that investigators are probing whether the men had ties to any Islamic terror cells in the United States, Britain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Denmark or Sweden.
The 17 suspects jailed in the case face charges that include participating in a terrorist group, importing weapons and planning a bombing.
Police in northern England, meanwhile, said Wednesday that they had arrested a 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old as terror suspects. But police declined to comment on reports by the British Broadcasting Corp. that the arrests were connected to the case in Canada.
Canadian Muslim leaders on Thursday urged government and law enforcement officials to attend a meeting by the end of the month and look at ways to work with them to address extremist views among some young Canadian Muslims.
"Terrorism is a complete contradiction with the teachings of Islam," Karl Nickner, director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, told a news conference in Ottawa. "It's a global problem, and Canadian Muslims will never stop denouncing this ideology of terrorists."
Canada has a Muslim community of roughly 750,000 people.