From The National Post
Videos show Toronto 18 members handling bomb materials
Stewart Bell, National Post Published: Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Video A group now known as the Toronto 18, were arrested on June 2, 2006 on charges in a terrorist plot
Mobile readers can watch excerpts of the videos here
BRAMPTON — The two scrawny terrorists are unloading bags labeled ammonium nitrate from the back of a delivery truck when one of them looks up and recoils in shock, while his partner backs into a wall and raises his hands in surrender.
A four-member police tactical team dressed all in black descends, laying them spread-eagled on the floor of the warehouse and cuffing their hands behind their backs before one of the officers raises his thumb to say mission accomplished.
The dramatic arrests of Saad Khalid and Saad Gaya, members of the “Toronto 18” terrorist group that was planning to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto, was captured on a video released on Tuesday by the court.
The video is among dozens of Crown exhibits that form the case against Zakaria Amara, who admitted on Oct. 8 he was the leader of the bomb plot. An Ontario judge approved their release, allowing Canadians to view them for the first time.
The videos show the terrorists testing an electronic detonator and meeting in the dark. Also released was a video of a test explosion conducted by the RCMP, which built and detonated a bomb using the same formula as the terrorists. The result is a huge blast that flipped a metal shipping container.
The Toronto 18 were homegrown al-Qaeda-inspired terrorists who attended a training camp north of Toronto and planned attacks in southern Ontario they hoped would force Canada to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
“The eventual plan for which the group was training was an attack which would cripple infrastructure and involved attacking Parliament and blowing up truck bombs,” reads an agreed statement of facts that forms part of Amara’s guilty plea.
Also released on Tuesday were messages the terrorists exchanged in thumb drives in an attempt to avoid police surveillance. In one of them, Amara tells his accomplice to conduct reconnaissance in Toronto using a camera.
“Don’t do anything too suspicious. Just check out everywhere, you known downtown. Check different places just uh, oh yeah and also for the chemical set like I told you I need a filter, I need Pyrex, I need something to weigh, for weighing, you know.”
Amara’s rambling instructions on planning the attack are interspersed with religious tracts such as, “God all mighty says in the Koran…instructing the faithful that when they meet a group of non-believers or when they are battling they should remember God a lot and that will keep them, God willing, being steadfast.”
Amara, 24, pleaded to two counts of terrorism and is to be sentenced in January. Khalid, Gaya and Ali Dirie have also pleaded guilty and another man, Nishanthan Yogakrishnan, was convicted. Another six are awaiting trial.
A Mississauga gas jockey, Amara revealed his plans to an undercover police agent, telling him the plot involved renting three U-Haul vans and packing them with explosives. The vans were to be parked at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the CSIS regional office on Front Street and at a military base between Toronto and Ottawa.
The bombs were to be detonated remotely at about 9 a.m. in mid-November, 2006. Police arrested the group on June 2, 2006, before the attacks could be carried out. A judge said the men were motivated by an extremist interpretation of Islam that portrayed Canada as a “near enemy.”
For those who insisted that the Toronto 18 were just a bunch of cooky kids with a fantastical, zany plan that would never succeed, here is a recipe for grilled crow kebabs, which I’m certain you will be eating tonight for dinner:
Summer Crow Kabobs
16 pieces of crow breast meat (no bones) (8 crows)
16 pieces of green pepper
16 cherry tomatoes
8 button mushrooms
8 ears of sweet corn
1 1/2 cups of Teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup melted butter
8 kabob skewers
Cut each piece of crow in half and place in a covered bowl with the Teriyaki sauce over night. Clean and cut each ear of corn into 3 pieces. Cook in boiling salt water for 10 minutes. Alternately put corn (3 pieces), green peppers (3 pieces) and cherry tomatoes (3) along with 4 pieces of crow meat on each skewer. Use 1 mushroom to top each skewer. Brush with melted butter and place on preheated grill for about 4 minutes. Flip, butter again and place back on grill for another 4 minutes. Repeat one last time for a total of 12 minutes or until they appear done. Serves four adults.