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

Comox Valley RCMP have responded to an increased amount of calls last year within the Town of Comox. File photo
Policing calls for traffic, domestic assault increasing within Town of Comox: RCMP

There were 2,806 calls for service within the town in 2020

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Cumberland is hoping for its lab at the Cumberland Health Centre to re-open. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland hopeful for lab re-opening

“People in Cumberland are getting a little bit left behind with the loss of that lab.”

Ramona Johnson at the I-Hos Gallery. Photo by Ali Roddam/Black Press
Community rallying to support I-Hos Gallery manager

Ramona Johnson has recently been diagnosed with cancer for the second time

Brian Chow, a medical first responder for the Comox Valley division of St. John Ambulance for over six years, is one of the volunteers giving time at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Comox. Photo supplied
Medical first responders volunteer at Comox vaccine clinic

St. John Ambulance Medical First Responder (MFR) volunteers are providing support and… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read