• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Canada Terror Plot Called for Beheading Prime Minister

Jun 07, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

In addition to charges of training militants and plotting bombings faced by suspected terrorists in Canada, one member of the group allegedly sought to decapitate Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Reuters reports.

Seventeen Muslim men—five of them under age 18—were arrested by Canadian police last week as part of the country’s largest counterterrorism operation. Fifteen of them were taken to a heavily guarded courthouse on Tuesday to set dates for bail hearings, Reuters reports.

Gary Batasar, lawyer for 25-year-old Steven Chand—who is accused of aiming to behead the prime minister—said the group is suspected of planning to take hostages and attack the Canadian parliament in Ottawa in an effort to force the government to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, according to Reuters. Members are also accused of targeting power grids and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. building in Toronto, Batasar told Reuters.

Lawyers and family members said they are not being given enough information about the case, and the suspects’ rights are not being respected, the Associated Press reports on

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police allege that the al-Qaida-inspired suspects tried to take delivery of three tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be mixed with fuel oil to produce an explosive. The amount was more than what was used to make the bomb that killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, according to Reuters.

Defense lawyers were able to get the bail hearings postponed so they could have more time to access their clients and the evidence, Reuters reports.

Compiled by Dave Gradijan