The RCMP arrested two people on Thursday, including a youth who has been charged, as part of a terrorist bomb plot investigation in Kingston, Ontario.
The youth, whose name can’t be disclosed, has been charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and “counselling a person to deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or another leethal device” in a public place.
The adult man, identified by CBC News as Hussam Eddin Alzahabi, has not been charged. The investigation is ongoing, said police, and he’ll have to be released within 24 hours of the arrest if he isn’t charged by then.
Both are residents of Kingston and are friends, said police.
The raids by heavily armed police and subsequent arrests put to rest questions that were swirling around about a mystery plane that had been seen flying over Kingston since early January. The RCMP confirmed in a press conference on Friday that that “air assets were involved in this investigation.”
In late December, the RCMP says it received information from the FBI about an attack plot, but no target. In their press release, the RCMP thanked a number of law enforcement partners, including the FBI, as well as other Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Police found ‘elements and trace elements’ that could be turned into an explosive device in one of the two homes raided on Thursday night.
Alzehabi’s father told CBC that the 20-year-old had been arrested as part of a terrorism-related investigation.
“I know my son, he didn’t think about that,” said Amin Alzahabi, whose family is originally from Syria, but lived in Kuwait from 2008 to 2017 before coming to Canada. “He like(s) Canada. He like(s) the safety of Canada. How could he think about that?”
Alzahabi said he trusted his son and that he “cannot do anything against any human, humanity.” He described the situation as “fake news.” He added that police had searched his house, but couldn’t find anything.
The Alzahabi family was brought to Canada through the private sponsorship program, according to one of the churches that was involved in bringing them over.
“I want to save my family from Assad regime in Syria,” Alzahabi told CBC News.
According to a church bulletin posted on the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church website, Hussam Eddin came to Canada with his mother and father and two siblings. The family’s home in Damascus has been destroyed, and his father had once been imprisoned for not joining Assad’s political party.
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