Hello PrisonPlanet readers. For more detail on the Toronto 18 saga, jump here for the most recent media impression on this story (Feb 2010), as well as a detailed ‘Flashback’ chronology. Drop by our chat room and forum as well to leave your thoughts, and enjoy your stay.
Isabel Teotonio, Toronto Star
Jun 02, 2008 04:30 AM
It’s been two years since members of the “Toronto 18″ were arrested in a dramatic sweep of homes across the GTA, but today prosecutors and lawyers are still arguing whether they’re dealing with a band of committed terrorists or a “hapless F-Troop.”
When police descended on quiet residential streets on this day in 2006, news rippled around the world that an Al Qaeda-inspired terror cell had been busted.
But as the case is plucked apart strand by strand in a Brampton courthouse, some say a less menacing picture is emerging of the 14 adults and four youths who were arrested.
Just last week court heard again that some of the accused were, essentially, a bunch of incompetent guys who were primarily misled by a delusional megalomaniac.
Still, members of the Toronto 18 stand accused of attending a jihadist training camp in December 2005, ordering fertilizer to build truck bombs, constructing a remote-control detonator and scouting a safe house to practise military drills and store weapons.
At the camp, participants are alleged to have dressed in camouflage gear, played war games with paintball guns and fired a 9-mm handgun at a can of Pringles potato chips tied to a tree.
Many also question the role of the paid informants, possibly foreshadowing the use of entrapment as a future defence.
Shaikh was a training camp instructor and the other informant, whose identity is protected, facilitated the purchase of three tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
In the end, the fertilizer was replaced with an inert substance during a sting operation.
The training camp and the bomb plot are central to the Crown’s case.
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