VICTORIA - The RCMP held a press conference to discuss the arrest of two Canadians July 1 for an alleged plot to bomb the B.C. Legislature.
John Stewart Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Marie Korody aged 28 or 29, both of Surrey, were taken into custody following an investigation by RCMP and CSIS.
RCMP assistant commissioner James Malizia says the investigation was named Project Souvenir and launched in February 2013. He said the investigation revealed the two suspects were inspired by al-Qaeda ideology and the threat was "domestic without international linkages".
"I want to reassure our citizens that at all times during the investigation our primary focus was the safety and protection of the public," Malizia stated. "While the RCMP believes that the threat was real, at no time was the security of the public at risk."
RCMP assistant commissioner Wayne Rideout took to the podium to lay out the three charges currently against Nuttall and Korody. He said they will be charged with conspiring to place an explosive device in a place of public use with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury in connection to terrorism; they knowingly facilitated a terrorist activity; and they had in their possession an explosive substance with the intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.
"This self radicalized behaviour was intended to create maximum impact to Canadian citizens at the B.C. Legislature on a national holiday," Rideout said. "They took steps to education themselves and produce explosive devices designed to cause injury and death."
Rideout said the devices used were under the control of investigators and at the time they were placed in the legislature they were inert and posed no threat to the public.
Premier Christy Clark was in West Kelowna on Canada Day serving cake alongside other volunteers at the Westside Daze celebration. She sent out a press release today in response to the alleged terrorist plot.
Premier Christy Clark's statement on attempted terror attack
VICTORIA: Premier Christy Clark gave the following remarks in response to news of an attempted terror attack on the grounds of the provincial
"I want to offer my sincere thanks on behalf of British Columbians to the RCMP and the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team for their work in keeping us all safe. Their work is dangerous and they continuously put their lives at risk to protect us, and they do it quietly.
"They make us proud to be Canadians.
"The allegation is that on Canada Day, the very heart of the institution of democracy in our province, the very symbol of our values as British Columbians and Canadians was targeted.
"But our Parliament stands strong. We are back at work today, undeterred and unafraid. A day after thousands of people gathered on these grounds to celebrate our nation's greatest day.
"I am relieved to be informed there was never any risk to the public. We are also told the suspects have no ties to any groups inside or outside of Canada. These were two individuals who were working alone.
"Let me say this about those who would resort to terror. They want us to be governed by fear. They want us to look on each other with suspicion. They want us to be seized with anger.
"They want this because they hate the things that make us Canadian. They hate the things that make B.C. and Canada unique in the world. But instead of letting fear grip us - we will go to work today, here in this legislature.
"We will enjoy our families and our communities, wherever we live."