Canadian authorities say they disrupted a plot to bomb a British Columbia legislative building during Canada Day celebrations Monday.
John Stewart Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Korody, 29, are charged with plotting a terror attack. The Surrey couple was arrested while trying to explode pressure-cooker bombs at the legislature building in Victoria where thousands gather each year to celebrate Independence Day.
The arrests were the culmination of a five-month investigation led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Both Nuttal and Korody were "charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and making or having in their possession an explosive substance."
Photos from the terror investigation show the suspects planned to use washers, nuts, bolts, and nails in pressure cookers as improvised explosive devices. Unbeknownst to the pair, the devices were rendered inert "and at no time represented a threat to public safety," the Globe and Mail quoted assistant RCMP commissioner Wayne Rideout saying.
Pressure cookers were also used in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings in April but investigators said the two cases were unrelated.
According to details revealed by the RCMP, the suspects were "inspired by al-Qaeda ideology" and were "self-radicalized" with no connections to international terrorists.
The Vancouver Sun provided an video of the couple's basement apartment, describing it as "very, very dirty" with "garbage everywhere." There was a plastic lid with "Paintball" written on it and "the television on the bedroom appeared to have been shot with a paintball gun, bullet holes riddling the screen."Religious plaques were also visible on the living room ledge. The couple's landlady reportedly told the news outlet that the couple "lived on welfare, visited a local mosque and listened to radical Islamist tapes in their basement suite."
Nuttall reportedly was previously convicted of robbery, kidnapping, and other misdemeanors. In 2002, he allegedly hit a Victoria businessman on the head and stole his briefcase. Prior to that, he spent 18 months in jail for his involvement in drug-related disputes.
An aspiring rock musician who converted to Islam a few years ago, Nuttall set up an account on the music website ReverbNation to promote his music. A song titled "League with Satan" posted on his account said, "We are possessed by all that is evil, the death of your god we demand, We spit at the virgin you worship and at Lord Satan's Left Hand."
Both Nuttall and Korody are currently in custody and are scheduled to make an appearance in Surrey provincial court on July 9.