By Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER – A British Columbia man accused of plotting to attack the provincial legislature on Canada Day pleaded with an undercover officer to give him explosives, promising that the alleged plan was coming “from his heart.”
John Nuttall was captured on surveillance video in a hotel room on June 29, 2013, speaking with the officer, who he believed was a powerful man from a Muslim country who had access to C-4 explosives.
Nuttall and his wife, Amanda Korody, are on trial before a jury for several terrorism-related charges. They have pleaded not guilty.
Nuttall was introduced to the unidentified man by another undercover officer, who posed as an Arab businessman willing to help the couple. A video of their encounter was played for the jury Thursday.
During the lengthy hotel room conversation, Nuttall speaks erratically about his plan. At first, he says he has three bombs and a list of locations, but doesn’t answer directly when asked where he wants to place the explosives.
“Your plan seems kind of like a dream â€” ‘I maybe want to do this, I maybe want to do that,'” the man says, appearing frustrated.
The man leaves the room at one point and the officer posing as the Arab businessman pleads with Nuttall to say what he has told him.
“I’m afraid he’s going to think I’m like a terrorist,” Nuttall replies in a hushed voice.
At one point, the three leave the hotel and the man stages an argument with the Arab businessman outside, a couple of metres away from Nuttall.
“I think this is just a bunch of crap,” the man says. “He’s wasting my time. I’ve come a long … way for this, and I’m not happy.”
The threat prompts Nuttall to apologize for not speaking more openly, promising that he and his wife want to fight on behalf of Islam.
“This is from my heart, brother,” says Nuttall. “It truly is. I was holding back because I didn’t want to come off sounding like I was a lunatic, but this is how I really feel. I shouldn’t have tried to be someone who I wasn’t.”
He then pleads with the man for several kilograms of C-4, which he says he wants to load into a truck, drive it into downtown Victoria on Canada Day and set it off.
Asked what he will do if he can’t get the C-4, Nuttall says he’ll use gunpowder instead.
The six-hour recording reveals extensive back-and-forth between the man and Nuttall, as the undercover officer tries to nail down the specifics of the couple’s plan and questions whether they’ve been pressured into it.
Nuttall suggests another to plant bombs made out of recently purchased pressure cookers in tree boxes in downtown Victoria.
For the occasion, he says he plans to paint his face in Canada’s colours, white and red, acknowledging it will look “silly” but he has to do it.
Despite the many plans floated in the videos, the Crown has told the jury the couple eventually decided to plant the pressure-cooker bombs on the lawn of the provincial legislature. The trial will see videos and photographs showing Nuttall and Korody doing just that, the Crown has said.
Nuttall mentions several times he’s been awake for three days. He initially says the plan was hatched by all of them â€” himself, Korody and the businessman. But he later says he mentioned his interest in jihad shortly after meeting the businessman, and he has never been ordered to do anything.
“I would die for this guy. I love him,” Nuttall says.
The man asks to speak with Korody alone, and he tells her that he has promised to give them the C-4.
She says she researched and compiled the list of possible locations for the bombs. The man asks her if she’s been pressured, and she replies, “not at all.” She suggests her only guidance comes from Allah.
Korody tells the man how the pair became Muslims when they stumbled across a book about Islam in a store. When they finally got a hold of a Qur’an, Nuttall stayed up all night reading it, she says.
Both reference the treatment of Palestinians and other Muslims around the world as motivation for their alleged plot. Korody says she isn’t concerned about killing children because kids have been “targeted” in Palestine.
Asked how many people she wishes to kill, mutilate and destroy, she replies: “As many as possible.”
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