The neighbour of a Surrey couple accused of being behind a terror plot at the B.C. Legislature says she called police after hearing one of the suspects yelling in the street about blowing things up.
The woman, identified only as Sharlene, told CKNW reporter Shane Woodford that the couple “seemed a bit off.”
John Stewart Nuttall, 38, and Amanda Marie Korody, 28, both residents of Surrey, have been arrested and charged in a failed terror plot involving pressure cooker bombs at the Legislature in Victoria.
Sharlene says she reported Nuttall to police after a bizarre incident in the street.
“I reported him once. He was wandering up and down the street in the middle of the night, like two o’ clock in the morning, yelling into his cell phone about blowing things up,” she says.
“He was talking about Canadian Forces and Islam right now and if this person on the phone didn’t give him the answers he wanted he was prepared to do whatever he had to do to get to the afterlife.”
She also said she heard religious propaganda blaring from the suite.
Nuttall and Korody are charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and making or having in possession an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property.
Nuttall has a long criminal record, and court records date back to 2002.
When he was 28 years old he stole a briefcase from a businessman and hit him over the head with a rock. He was given an 18 month sentence, but was able to serve a conditional sentence. He was reportedly under the influence of cocaine at the time.
Before this incident his previous convictions include robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
Nuttall pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He is a Canadian-born citizen.
Jas Johal on the ideology that police say inspired the suspects into their Canada Day terrorism plot.
Nuttall’s long-time lawyer, Tom Marino, says he first became aware of the situation last night after receiving a phone call from the RCMP telling him he had two clients in custody.
Marino says he has known Nuttall and various family members for 10 to 15 years. He says despite the speculation around his character, he always known Nuttall to be kind and gentle.
“I’ve known John to be a gentle, caring compassionate person, I’ve never known him to be otherwise. He’s always been polite, courteous with me,” he says.
“Amanda struck me the same way when I first met her.”
Marino says it would inappropiate for him to represent both Nuttall and Korody at the same time, and it’s something he still needs to discuss with the couple.
Marino says the public needs to remember that no one was ever at risk as a result of the incident.
“We have to be careful not to get too hysterical. In time, all of the information will come out,” he says.
Marino confirmed Nuttall had converted to Islam but he would not consider him to be an extremist.
“Now he has embraced Islam, to what extent I do not know,” he says.
“I would not characterize his beliefs as extreme. He and I have spoken of it but I am no expert on the subject.”
Nuttall was also a musician and a former member of Victoria-based band, “Lust Boys.”
A post on the group’s Facebook page entitled “This just in” says Nuttall — also known as “Johnny Blade” — was the band’s ex-guitarist. It’s not clear when he left the band, however.
Meanwhile, a post on Livevan.com from a user called “Johnny Blade” says his band called “Muslim Punks” is looking for a drummer.
The post says they are “looking to meet anyone else into Allah and hardcore punk” and have a space in Surrey.
The thread was posted in August 2011.
RCMP said both Nuttall and Korody were ‘inspired’ by Al-Qaeda ideology, but were ‘self-radicalized.’
© Shaw Media, 2013