Crown Launches Case to Prove Incompetent Terror Couple Actually Posed a Threat

If the latest round of undercover video evidence is any indication, it's not going to be easy to convince a judge these two people were dangerous.

|
Apr 19 2016, 8:27pm

Photo via RCMP

Prosecutors in Canada's most bonkers terror trial have a tough job ahead of them in coming weeks.

After defence lawyers for two poor, addicted and exceedingly imaginative bomb plotters wrapped their case for police entrapment Monday, it's now up to the Crown to prove the pair actually posed a real threat to society. If the latest round of undercover evidence heard in court is any indication, it's not going to be easy.

It was around this time last year that 90 hours of covert police recordings submitted in court revealed details of the elaborate and expensive RCMP sting operation. VICE reported undercover police provided the couple with food, cigarettes, clothes, hotel rooms, bus tickets and eventually inert explosives that were planted at the BC Legislature on Canada Day in 2013.

Leading up to the mock attack, RCMP posing as Muslim extremists told John Nuttall pressure cooker bombs were "feasible" and "exciting." The Surrey man had been musing about cow-manure rockets, train hijacking and commandeering a nuclear submarine at the time.

A jury convicted Nuttall and common law partner Amanda Korody on terrorism charges last summer, but this latest entrapment hearing could let the couple walk free.

One might expect the new recordings would be Nuttall's most dangerous and damning moments, but a sample of clips played Monday afternoon were more like footnotes and asides—not particularly coherent ones, either.

Sitting in the back of a car, Nuttall tries to boast about his criminal past, occasionally asking undercover officers for direction. I paraphrased his line of questioning in my notes like this: Can you guys get me a gun? When are we going paintballing? Is it "halal" to kill a fellow Muslim if they get in the way of our plot?

In his most lucid moments, Nuttall expresses the rage he feels seeing American soldiers disrespecting Islam.

"I wanted to put a gun to his head and right before I pulled the trigger I wanted to say, 'Taste what you used to deny,' and send him straight to the hell-fire," Nuttall said in one clip. "I had my marble gun. I could have just pulled it out and put it to his head but [two other people] were in the back seat and I didn't have enough bullets to take them all out."

Nuttall also brags about his previous run-ins with the law, and his success converting other Islamic warriors. "I took a brother out of the jails and off of the streets and turned him into a mujahed," he said. "That's two now. Three if you include my wife.

The entrapment hearing is finally unstuck again after the defence team gave up a fight to submit CSIS records as evidence. Since January, Nuttall and Korody's lawyers have been battling the spy agency in closed-door federal court hearings in effort to reveal what role CSIS played in the couple's radicalization. Those records won't see light of day.

By the time final submissions are expected to be made this summer, the couple will have been in custody nearly three years.

Follow Sarah on Twitter.