March 19, 2015 - 11:57 AM
VANCOUVER - As the morning of Canada Day slipped away from him, John Nuttall knew something was wrong.
He and his wife, Amanda Korody, had planted their homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the British Columbia legislature in the early morning of July 1, 2013, a jury has heard, and the time of the planned detonation had come and gone.
Nuttall and Korody sat in a motel room in Abbotsford, southeast of Vancouver, waiting for the news to break into TV coverage of Canada Day festivities.
"Maybe they haven't prepared the story yet, or maybe they're just not reporting it because it's so shocking," Nuttall says in a video played in court Thursday.
"They don't want to wreck anyone's fun by telling them."
Nuttall says he expects the television programming to be interrupted by an "emergency news bulletin."
"'Al-Qaida has struck Canada,' that's what they'll say. Al-Qaida is here."
Nuttall and Korody, who were recent converts to Islam, were targeted by a months-long RCMP undercover operation in which an officer posing as an Arab businessman befriended them and offered to help.
The timers on the bombs were set to explode between 9 and 10 a.m., the court has heard. By 11 a.m., Nuttall appeared to be losing hope.
"I'm starting to think the news is real bad — no news is bad," says Nuttall.
"If they didn't go off," Korody says.
"Yeah, they didn't go off, I guess," replies Nuttall.
Previous audio and video recordings have featured Nuttall and Korody justifying the attack by complaining about what they perceive as the mistreatment of Muslims by the Canadian military overseas. Nuttall has said Islam is at war and that he and his wife are behind enemy lines.
Nuttall has predicted 200 people might die as the result of the explosions. Earlier in the day, shortly after planting the bombs, Nuttall said he had no regrets about what he had done and compared the attack to 9/11, though he also said he hoped no children or Muslims would be killed.
As they wait at the motel, Nuttall speaks to the undercover officer over the telephone. After the call, he is agitated and tells Korody they need to prepare to leave.
He curses repeatedly as he all but concedes the mission has failed.
"What happened?" asks Korody.
"Nothing," says Nuttall. "Nothing happened."
Nuttall tells Korody the officer has secured a plane and they will be leaving the country.
Throughout the investigation, Nuttall has occasionally wondered aloud whether the Arab businessman and his mysterious associates were actually undercover officers.
Even as his plan falls apart, Nuttall appears more sure than ever that he is dealing with genuine jihadists.
"I now know it's for real," says Nuttall. "He's not undercover, because if he was, we wouldn't be sitting here now. We'd both be dead. They would kill us."
The jury has already been told that in the early afternoon, the officer tells Nuttall over the phone that he will pick them up and take them to the airport. He tells them to leave their belongings and walk to a parking lot across the street.
They were arrested when they walked outside.
The jury will finish watching and listening to wiretap evidence on Monday, after which the defence will cross-examine the undercover officer before the Crown calls its next witness.
Nuttall and Korody have pleaded not guilty to four terrorism-related charges.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015