Duo charged in relation to Canada Day terrorism plot were ‘self-radicalized’ and ‘inspired by Al-Qaeda’

One of the pressure cooker-type bombs seized by RCMP. Submitted | RCMP

Amanda Marie Korody, 28, and John Stewart Nuttall, 38, have both been arrested and charged in connection to a Canada Day terrorism plot that was planned in Victoria.

The RCMP says the duo was ‘inspired’ by Al-Qaeda ideology, but was ‘self-radicalized.’

“I think it’s somewhat cryptic,” said SFU history professor Andre Gerolymatos. “Al-Qaeda does not have ideology, Al-Qaeda has theology. They see themselves as a religious organization and they follow a very narrow, extreme, form of Islam.”

The suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, where pressure cooker bombs were also used, were also described to be ‘self-radicalized’, and Gerolymatos said it is possible Nuttall and Korody were influenced by what happened in Boston.

“I think these two people, they’re described to be two individuals who became self-radicalized, that’s a very interesting term,” he said.

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“Self-radicalized, what does it mean? That two people were watching their computer screens, that they were reading information on Jihad websites, or watching some of these Jihad preachers rant and rave about the west, and that somehow has inspired them to go and kill and maim hundreds of thousands of people?”

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“I suspect that there is going to be an interim connection between what they want to do and what was on the website. And maybe there were other people involved. Who converted them? Who convinced them to become terrorists?”

University of Victoria professor of international relations, Scott Watson, said what struck him about this case was a lack of international connections. “It seems to be two Canadians operating in the domestic context.”

Watson confirmed Al-Qaeda information is very easy to access on the Internet, but it is not known if there is a specific political or religious objective behind the plot.

“It’s difficult to know what the RCMP mean by [the Al-Qaeda connection],” said Watson. “One reading of it could be they are inspired by the political and religious goals that Al-Qaeda shares, which could be withdrawal of the United States or Canadian forces from Afghanistan or other Middle Eastern countries, their support for Israel, some of the basic political objectives that we normally associate with Al-Qaeda. It could mean the materials they are using, the pressure cookers with material inside, so they may have just got this from Al-Qaeda, websites on how to create bombs, or maybe more about logistics, rather than the political aims.”
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The pressure cooker bomb is the signature bomb of Al-Qaeda and has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are many how-to manuals online about how to make these bombs as well.

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