A jury in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday found a couple guilty of conspiracy in connection to plotting an attack on Canada Day in 2013. The Canadian couple, identified as John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, was arrested in July 2013 for keeping three pressure cooker bombs outside British Columbia's provincial legislature before the crowds gathered.
Thousands of people were expected to attend the celebrations in Victoria. However, noone was hurt as the attack was foiled by undercover police officials, who had befriended the pair and posed as people with terrorist connections. The officials ensured that the bombs were made chemically non-reactive by using fake explosives, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Hundreds of police officers were involved in the four month-long sting operation against the couple, who were reportedly inspired by al Qaeda.
Nuttall's lawyer Marilyn Sandford said, according to CBC News British Columbia, that her client was “disappointed” with the verdict “but he also appreciates some of the important issues are to be determined by the judge in the next phase and not the jury.” The jury has ruled that the two are guilty of committing murder and making or possessing an explosive device.
Sandford claimed that the two had been tricked and had the police not pushed them, they would have never conspired to conduct the attack. The lawyer also said that before the plot, both of them were heroin addicts and that they acted only after the officers approached them.
"The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) manufactured this crime, and that is not permissible in our law," Sandford said, according to CBC News British Columbia, adding: "We also have arguments that the police themselves committed crimes. They were involved in exactly the same activities as our clients were to a large extent, at least some of them."
Prosecutors denied that the couple was entrapped in a police plot.
"They weren't entrapped," Prosecutor Peter Eccles said outside court, according to the AP, adding: "It was done using old-fashioned undercover police investigation technique."
The jurors watched videos and heard audios of the couple discussing plans of joining a Holy War against the Western powers to avenge the injustice faced by Muslims.
Nuttall was reportedly heard, in several surveillance recording, saying that he was inspired by the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, but referred to it as amateurish. The attack, carried out by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother by planting pressure cooker bombs near the finishing line, killed three people and injured over 260.
"We're AQ Canada, Al-Qaeda Canada, that's who we are. ... We're sleepers who've been woken, that's what we are," Nuttall was heard saying to Korody in a surveillance video, CBC News reported.