Charges against four stayed in Canadian terror plot

April 16th, 2008 - 11:18 am ICT by admin  

Toronto, April 16 (IANS) Canada’s first terror plot trial, known as Toronto-18, suffered yet another setback Tuesday when a court in Brampton near here stayed charges against four suspects. Eighteen Toronto-area Muslims were picked up in 2006 for allegedly plotting a terror attack on Canada. After investigations, charges were stayed against three last year.

Tuesday, four more walked out free when the prosecution (Crown) demanded that the proceedings against them be stopped.

But their freedom comes with strict conditions.

Under the so-called peace bonds, they will be under curfew for one year. They will surrender their passports and not communicate with other suspects.

The charges can be brought back against them later.

With the seven suspects having charges against them stayed and one on trial, the Toronto-18 plot now has only 10 suspects behind bars.

In Canada’s first alleged home-grown plot, the suspects had planned to blow up Toronto downtown buildings, storm the nation’s parliament, take top leaders hostage and behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

They had allegedly undergone training in arms at a camp in a wooded area of Ontario province in December 2005.

The video evidence presented in court last month when one suspect went on trial showed that if the plot had succeeded Canada might have suffered a terror attack bigger than the London bombings of July 2005, which killed 52 people.

In the video, which was seized from one of the accused, the participants are being told by a suspect to destroy `Rome’, referring to the western world in general.

The suspect tells the participants: “Whether we get arrested, whether we get killed, we get tortured, our mission is greater than just individuals.

“Rome has to be defeated. And we have to be the ones that do it … whether it’s one man that survives, you have to do it.”

According to the prosecution, they held jihadi discussions and practised guerrilla warfare at the camp.

The alleged plot was unearthed after the police arrested two men at the US border for trying to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Canada.

From their jail phone conversations, the police came to know about the larger terror plot. A local Muslim was used as a mole to crack the terror cell.

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