A man who infiltrated a Toronto terrorist cell is providing chilling testimony about a plot to unleash a series of bombings in the hear of the city.
Shaher Elsohemy was paid millions by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian intelligence to infiltrate the "Toronto 18." The group planned to use three tons of ammonium nitrate to bomb the Canadian stock exchange, intelligence service and a military base before authorities broke up the group in 2006.
Alleged ringleader Shareef Abdelhaleem was apprehensive about the plot, Elsohemy testified, but that changed when Abdelhaleem's father issued a fatwa approving it. According to the National Post:
"The fatwa, or religious ruling, from Mr. Abdelhaleem's father would have held significance because the elder Mr. Abdelhaleem ran an Islamic education school in Mississauga, the court heard. For Shareef Abdelhaleem, who had been somewhat skeptical, the fatwa affirmed that the plot to detonate truck bombs in southern Ontario was Islamically sound, Mr. Elsohemy testified. He said Mr. Abdelhaleem would later interpret the fatwa to mean simply, 'f---them,' in reference to Canadian citizens."
Elsohemy testified that he was tasked with obtaining the chemicals for the bombs.
Abdelhaleem wanted to strike the stock exchange in the early morning hours to make a political point and wreak economic havoc more than try to kill more people, the Toronto Star reported about Elsohemy's testimony:
"He said this plot will screw Stephen Harper, the government and the military and this might lead to Canada pulling its troops out of Afghanistan because they're not tough like the British and the Americans."
Four co-conspirators have entered guilty pleas, a fifth was convicted and five more face trial this spring. Before police swooped in, members of the group met with two Georgia men who wanted to carry out their own attacks. Sayid Haris Ahmed was sentenced to 13 years in prison and Ehsanul Sadequee was sentenced to 17 years after being convicted on conspiracy to support the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
For more on Elsohemy's testimony and background on the case, click here.