John Nuttall and Amanda Korody are shown in a still image taken from an RCMP undercover video.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-RCMP

Accused feared execution if terror plot failed

Accused imagined execution if terror plot with wife was thwarted: trial

  • Mar. 3, 2015 10:00 a.m.

By Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – As time ticked toward a crucial deadline, a British Columbia man accused of plotting to bomb the provincial legislature on Canada Day warned his wife that an Arab businessman who was helping them with their plan would turn into a monster if they fell short, their trial has heard.

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were captured on video in a motel room working late into the night on June 28, 2013, to build bombs out of pressure cookers, which their associate told them must be ready by morning. The businessman was actually an undercover Mountie.

In the video, Nuttall tells Korody what to expect if they can’t deliver their end of the bargain.

“You know what’s going to happen to us? He’s going to turn from a real nice guy into a … monster,” Nuttall says in one of several expletive-laced diatribes featured in the video, which was played for a jury on Tuesday.

“Has it occurred to you that he has a fourth contingency plan? It involves us wearing cement galoshes at the bottom of the ocean.”

Jurors in B.C. Supreme Court have watched reams of video, all recorded surreptitiously by police, showing the pair either driving around with the undercover officer or inside a room at the lodging located south of Vancouver.

Nuttall and Korody, who the Crown says had recently embraced a radicalized form of Islam, were charged in July 2013 after the alleged plot was foiled.

In the video, Nuttall orders his wife not to give up by going to sleep. They wear white gloves as they work together later into the night, using a soldering iron to put together parts of a large round clock and a jumble of wires. Tassels from headscarves they are both wearing dangle over their project while Arabic music plays in the background.

Nuttall repeatedly directs Korody to identify three targets for their explosives, who offers up several suggestions of street corners and buildings in Victoria.

He muses out loud about the different ways they can inflict harm.

At one point, he imagines parking a truck packed with explosives in downtown Victoria and blowing it up. He then switches to another idea, driving the truck into a parking garage below an apartment.

He later says his dream is to sink a passenger ferry.

“If we went boom, there’d be nothing of it left. Everyone would be … dead,” he tells his wife, who asks him if that’s his new plan.

“They would shut down the ferries completely, forever. It would cost billions in damages.”

His excitement grows as he tells Korody about the entire scheme.

“They’ll never know that it was really two white people that did it.”

Korody often lies down on a bed or is heard washing various tools in the bathroom. Her husband frequently implores her to “pull yourself together,” saying that if the couple sacrifices themselves for Islam they will reap great rewards.

Nuttall, who has said he believes they are fighting for al-Qaida, tells her they will never brag after they pull off the bombing.

“Let them (al-Qaida) have the credit, OK?” he says. “Even if we’re sitting alone in a camp, in the middle of Bosnia surrounded by Mujahedeen. You say nothing except, ‘That operation in Canada that al-Qaida did was wonderful.'”

The Crown contends the couple was seeking to avenge their perceived mistreatment of Muslims overseas, especially by the Canadian military. Their defence lawyers say they will highlight the RCMP’s role in the sting.

The police ensured the bombs that were planted were inert.

Both Nuttall and Korody have pleaded not guilty.

Follow @TamsynBurgmann on Twitter

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