February 04, 2016 - 2:34 PM
VANCOUVER - An Islamic expert says police involved in an undercover terrorism sting were wrong in preventing a British Columbia man with radical Muslim views from reaching out to mainstream, moderate religious leaders.
Duke University Islamic scholar Omid Safi testified in B.C. Supreme Court that the RCMP should have helped to rid John Nuttall of his radical ideas, instead of posing as religious authorities and offering what he describes as dubious and eyebrow-raising interpretations of Islam.
Nuttall and his common-law partner Amanda Korody were found guilty last summer of plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature on Canada Day in 2013.
Their convictions are on hold while lawyers argue the pair was coerced by the RCMP into committing the terrorist act.
Safi says transcripts from undercover surveillance reveal Nuttall was searching for spiritual guidance and that he identified the main undercover RCMP officer as a religious authority and his one true Muslim brother.
He says Nuttall had a rambling, incoherent view of Islam and he wanted to know where jihad, or holy war, fit into his beliefs.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016