Toronto-18 plotted bigger attack than London bombings

March 27th, 2008 - 12:28 am ICT by admin  

Toronto, March 26 (IANS) Canada would have suffered a terror attack bigger than the London bombings of July 2005, which killed 52 people, had the first terror plot on its soil succeeded. The video evidence for this was presented when trial of one member of its home grown terror cell dubbed - Toronto 18 - began in a Brampton court here Tuesday.

The police unearthed the plot when it cracked Canada’s first Al Qaeda terror cell by picking up 17 people in a raid in June 2006. Another person was arrested two months later.

The plotters had allegedly planned to blow up Toronto downtown buildings, storm the nation’s parliament, take top leaders hostage, and behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Of these 18, 10 are in jail and four on bail. The trial of three has been stayed. And the 18th person is now facing trial.

Presenting the video evidence against the youth, the prosecution said he attended an indoctrination and warfare training camp in a wooded area, away from Toronto.

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’s 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”.

The prosecution said the youth underwent “terrorist indoctrination, wore hooded camouflage and participated in various military-style exercises, including marching, obstacle course training and firearms training.”

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

The 18 suspects, most of whom were arrested from the Mississauga area, come from various countries. Some are Canadian citizens, while others are permanent residents.

The alleged plot was unearthed after the police arrested two men at the US border 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. The case resumes in May.

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