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Toronto 18 and Squamish 5 are part of Canada's terror history

July 04, 2013 - 6:00 AM

Two Canadians were arrested and charged this week in what the RCMP described as an al-Qaida-inspired plot to blow up the British Columbia legislature on Canada Day. Some other notable cases involving Canada and terrorism or alleged terrorism:

1984: A group dubbed both Direct Action and the Squamish Five were arrested after detonating a bomb at a missile manufacturing plant in Toronto. Ten people were injured in the attack, which was part of a larger series of bombings protesting aspects of capitalist society. Other targets included mining companies and video stores specializing in pornography.

1985: An Air India flight originating in Toronto exploded in the skies over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 329 people on board. Two Canadians were tried for the bombing, but were ultimately acquitted of mass murder. Only one conviction has been obtained in the case. Inderjit Singh Reyat pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was also convicted of perjury in 2010.

2006: Police fanned out throughout Toronto and arrested a large group of young men. The group ultimately become known as the Toronto 18, and were accused of plots to bomb targets such as the Toronto Stock Exchange, CSIS headquarters and a military base. There was also an allegation Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a target for beheading. Eleven were ultimately convicted of terrorist offences.

2008: Momin Khawaja, the first person charged under Canada's post 9-11 anti terror law, was convicted. The former software developer from Ottawa had been accused of training at a remote camp in Pakistan, providing cash to a group of British extremists and offences related to building a remote-control detonator. He was found guilty and sentenced to life behind bars without parole eligibility for 10 years.

2010: Police in Ontario made three high profile arrests in what they described as a bid to foil an international plot stretching from Canada to Iran and Afghanistan. Police did not reveal purported targets when they arrested Misbahuddin Ahmed and Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh of Ottawa and Khurram Syed Sher of London, Ont. The three men are scheduled to stand trial next year.

2011: Tahawwur Rana was convicted in Chicago of providing support for the Pakistani group, Lashkar-e-Taiba. The Canadian citizen, who ran a Toronto-based travel business, was also found guilty of supporting a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, though that plot was never carried out. He was ultimately cleared of involvement in a deadly three-day rampage the Indian city of Mumbai and is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence.

January 2013: A group of militants, including two Canadians, stormed a gas plant in Algeria. After a four-day seige, 37 hostages and all 29 militants were found dead in the plant. Ali Medlej and Xris Katsiroubas of London, Ont. were among the attackers killed in the seige. Aaron Yoon, one of their former schoolmates who did not accompany them to Algeria, is being held in a Mauritanian prison and accused of having links to Al-Qaida in northern Africa. Yoon has denied being involved in terrorist activities. Government and police officials told The Canadian Press they are seeking a fourth Canadian from the same community, Mujahid Enderi.

April 2013: Police arrested two men in Canada and charged them with plotting to attack a Via Rail passenger train travelling between New York and Toronto. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser are charged with numerous offenses, including conspiracy to murder for the benefit of a terrorist group, participating in a terrorist group and conspiring to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.

July 2013: RCMP officers arrested two people and charged them with conspiring to blow up the British Columbia legislative building in the midst of Canada Day. John Nuttall, Amanda Korody are each charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, making or possessing an explosive device, and conspiracy to place an explosive device with the intent to cause death or injury. Police said the plot was fuelled by Al-Qaida-related ideology. None of the charges have been proven in court.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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