statism watch

Man charged in G20 probe gathered makings for volatile explosives, police charge

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The charge of ‘intimidating justice system participants’ tells the story here – Sonne was pranking intelligence. Not the best idea, but if he had no intent to actually cause any harm as seems to be the case, the only charge that should stick is mischief. Ah, but let’s not forget now, that terrorism charges now discount

Related: Police arrest ‘middle-aged white guy’ in G20 security raid

Anna Mehler Paperny and Jill Mahoney, The Globe and Mail
June 24, 2010

‘There’s no way he was building bombs. He’s just not that kind of person’

For months, the man police are accusing of gathering the ingredients to create volatile explosives mused — in person and online — about testing the capabilities of Toronto’s G20 security.

Friends say Byron Sonne talked about obtaining the “chemical precursors” to explosives “in an attempt to purposefully raise flags and get ‘the man’ to take a look at me… but no luck,” as he wrote on an online forum for HackLab T.O. last fall.

It would seem “the man” looked.

Toronto police entered his Elderwood Drive home in Toronto’s tony Forest Hill neighbourhood with a warrant Tuesday; Mr. Sonne is now accused of obtaining the ingredients to make triacetone triperoxide — a powerful and volatile explosive used in 2001 by thwarted “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.

Mr. Sonne appeared in court in handcuffs on Wednesday, charged with mischief, possession of explosives, weapons and of intimidating “justice system participants” — the latter a rare charge associated with threatening or harassing judges, jurors and lawyers.

His bail hearing was pushed back to Saturday because the police investigation is still continuing. A publication ban has been placed on the proceedings.


Sacco and Vanzetti in Ottawa: How Media and Police are Politicizing the RBC Arson Case

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

It’s good to know this history. Everyone should take a course in media studies at some point in their life to see just how easily we are manipulated. Just look at how the threat of the evil rioting bombing protesters has been played up and heralded in the media in just the last couple of weeks. Exhibits A-E: Marcus Gee: Why the G20 protesters won’t condemn violence | Police arrest ‘middle-aged white guy’ in G20 security raid | US issues G20 travel alert for Toronto | Ont. police track suspicious fertilizer purchase | America would send troops to G8/G20 if required

Related: Police push ahead with firebombing investigation | Three held in bank firebombing may face terrorism charges | Ottawa RBC firebomb case: I’m not linked to the attack, ex-government worker who rented SUV says | Bank firebomb suspects hung out briefly at Ottawa cafe | Toronto banks review G20 security after Ottawa RBC fire | RBC firebombed as protest, group claims

Jesse Freeston, Toronto Media Coop
June 23, 2010

In August 23rd, 1927, Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Massachusetts. The two were convicted of a double-murder committed during an armed robbery. The trial and media coverage focused on the political ideology of the two men, treating as secondary the material evidence related to the crime itself. The two men were members of the Galleanist Anarchist movement, and the trial was a watershed moment in the campaign to delegitimize the global anarchist movement as a whole.

The politicization of the trial extended to Judge Webster Thayer, who allegedly referred to the defendants as “anarchist bastards.” This is one example of the many ways that the pair’s political activities and beliefs were invoked in a way that prohibited a fair trial from proceeding. Some of the most renowned thinkers of the day spoke out against the prejudice surrounding the trial, such as Upton Sinclair and Walter Lippmann. Fifty years later, a Massachusetts government commission confirmed the trial had been unfair and Governor Michael Dukakis declared a “Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Day.”

Sacco and Vanzetti come to Ottawa

On Saturday, Ottawa police announced the charging of three well-known Ottawa activists in connection with the May 18th arson of a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada. What follows is not a comment on the event in question, nor the guilt or innocence of the accused, but a condemnation of the treatment of the accused by the media and Ottawa police.


Final two ‘Toronto 18′ terror accused found guilty of unwitting participation

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

And what they were found guilty of was participating in a terror group. Everyone, including the CSIS mole, agrees that they had no idea it was a terror group (the Toronto Star also has a good writeup, reporting Chand thought he was learning winter survival skills), but as the press has covered, intent doesn’t matter any more. No guilt or intent required, you are guilty.

The National Post crucially quotes Michael Moon, lawyer for the defence, as he put it so succinctly: “Given the broad expanse of the [terror] law, anything could be caught up by it. You don’t have to have done much to be caught for terrorism.” The way the laws are crafted, the jurors had little choice but to come to a finding of guilt. And that gets to the heart of the matter. Because for the four years this has been dragging on in headline after headline, Canadians have been marinating in the narrative that we must fear domestic terror. Never mind the fact you’ve more chance of being struck by lightning than being killed in a terror attack. Never mind the fact the police – and there were 700 of them assigned to this case – make it a point to shake the low-hanging fruit right off the tree, push the kind of hot heads wrapped in their own delusions of jihadi grandeur to reach higher, make it a point to help them set up training camps, practice with firearms, and purchase fertilizer.

It’s a well-known fact that in physics, measurement of a system changes outcomes. This is as true of electrons as it is of interacting with people. You simply cannot put two (or more) well-paid informants smack in the middle of a group of kids that couldn’t even open a tin can over a campfire properly and look for a conspiracy by pressing them on matters they otherwise may have simply grumbled about for the rest of their natural life without accepting some culpability for having a hand in creating one yourself. We need policing, but remote surveillance techniques backed by warrant would have minimized this risk. This debacle, this self-fulfilling prophecy that was seized upon with a showy media-staged takedown at a time when support for the war was flagging is a stain on the nation’s history. Hopefully some more enlightened generation will see it as such and repeal these destructive laws, reinstituting the legal principle of mens rea and removing the tool of entrapment from the hands of the state.

Related: Toronto 18 details emerge as jury sequestered | Crown begins closing arguments in Toronto 18 trial | Accused in Toronto bomb plot not aware: lawyer | Toronto 18 suspect Asad Ansari testifies in defence | Fahim Ahmad enters surprise guilty plea in latest Toronto 18 terror trial | Toronto 18 star witness grilled (again), accused of egging on gullible youngsters | Toronto 18 trial hears of ‘jihadi flavour’ paintball | ‘Toronto 18′ man planned widespread terror attacks, jury hears | Bomb plotter blames police in Toronto 18 case | ‘Toronto 18′ accused involved in bomb plot through RCMP agent, defence says | Toronto 18 member pleads no contest in preparation for entrapment defence | The Toronto 18 Publication Ban: Silence affects the core of justice | Toronto 18 ‘mastermind’ gets life sentence | Walkom: Mole crucial to terror trial | Toronto 18 ringleader says he’s sorry | ‘Toronto 18′ suspect wanted to profit from bombings: witness | ‘Toronto 18′leader pleads guilty | Crown appeals Toronto bomb plotter’s sentence | The making of a homegrown terrorist | Links to ‘Al-Qaeda’, Pakistani training camps linger after ‘Toronto 18′ member imprisoned | ‘Toronto 18′ member handed 14-year sentence | 2-year term sought in Toronto ‘terror plot’ | Toronto 18 ‘terror’ accused signs confession, media retreads tales of planned chaos | Toronto 18 member pleads in bomb plot | RCMP mole in Toronto 18 case says he felt ‘bad’ in terror sting | Toronto 18 Terror case: RCMP agent Shaikh was instigator who broke law: defence | American Intelligence Contractors Leak Canadian Toronto 18 ‘Terror Training’ Video to Web | Third Mole Surfacing in Toronto Terror Trial? | RCMP informant says accused in militant plot was naive | Paid CSIS Informant Says Public Not Upset Enough about Toronto ‘Terror’ Plot | Latest Toronto 18 ‘Terror’ Wiretaps Confirm Youths Goaded by Reservist, Paid Police Informant | Toronto ‘Terrorists’ Agree on Decapitation Plot, Fail to Open Tuna Tin | Many Question if Toronto “Terrorists” Were Led by Informants as Case Weakens | Crown presents evidence in Toronto terror suspect trial | Terror case begins to emit ripe aroma | Canada’s anti-terror law unconstitutional, defence says | Toronto’s Terrorism Case: For the Families, Fear and Bewilderment | CSIS informant admits cocaine, marijuana use during investigation | Terror trial proceedings troubling | Alleged Toronto terror plot included two police agents | Toronto Terrorist Ringleader Has Military Connections | Canadian ‘Terror Plot’ Begins To Unravel | Police arrest terrorist suspects in Toronto

Megan O’Toole, The National Post
June 23, 2010

Canada’s largest terrorism prosecution ended in a matter of minutes yesterday, with the final two accused in the “Toronto 18” terrorism case deemed guilty on all counts.

The verdict means all of the 18 men initially swept up by police in the 2006 counterterrorism operation have been dealt with by the justice system; seven were released early on, but the remainder have all either admitted guilt or been found guilty by a court of law.

Crown attorney Croft Michaelson said yesterday’s verdict marked a fitting end to the four-year ordeal.

“It was the result that we had always hoped for and expected,” he said outside court, flanked by his Crown colleagues. “It ends the saga.”

The RCMP’s assistant commissioner, Gilles Michaud, said the collective outcome of the Toronto 18 cases “demonstrated Canada’s ability to respond to terrorist threats.”

The Superior Court jury deliberated for six days before reaching its verdict. Both Asad Ansari, 25, and Steven Chand, 29, were found guilty of participating in a terror cell that plotted to storm Parliament and detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto. The participation offence carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

Chand was also found guilty of counseling the commission of fraud over $5,000 for the group’s benefit, an offence that could earn him life imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Michael Moon, who acted for Chand, said he was “very disappointed” by the outcome.

“Given the broad expanse of the law, anything could be caught up by it. You don’t have to have done much to be caught for terrorism,” Mr. Moon said, noting his client has not been doing well over the past week, which he has spent in a court cell.


Police arrest ‘middle-aged white guy’ in G20 security raid

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

To judge from the existing coverage, this guy’s a social hacker, a culture jammer, and he’s trying to play the media. In the current environment, this is of course either incredibly stupid or incredibly daring. To what end is unclear and the vague charges ensure that speculation of domestic terror will churn around in the media at a fever pitch all through the summit, as it’s fully intended they should. And then the charges will probably be substantially reduced when this goes to court and it emerges he’s a prankster. Or maybe not. The supposed ‘liquid’ bombers from Britain were adamant, too, that they wanted to detonate a ‘small’ device to make a bang (presumably, with no injuries) on the steps of Parliament and in Heathrow to grab headlines for a propaganda video they wished to produce. We know how the media overplayed that story. You still can’t take a little thing of shampoo on an airliner. So we’ll wait and we’ll see.

Jennifer Yang, The Toronto Star
June 22, 2010

Byron Sonne recently joked he was the last guy counter-terrorism officials would be prone to investigate.

The 37-year-old man made the comment about a month ago at a “Surveillance Club” meeting, a monthly gathering for academics and activists who enjoy discussing surveillance issues and ideas.

Sonne shared his plans to protest the G20 and mused he was hardly the type to raise security alarm bells – slightly nerdy with a receding hairline, the computer specialist lives in a million-dollar home with his artist wife. In his spare time, he likes to hang out at HackLab TO, a non-profit group for techies who delight in building everything from LED signs to computer codes.

“He looks, you know, generic. Kind of like a geek,” observed Jesse Hirsh, an Internet specialist and broadcaster who met Sonne at the May 5 meeting. “We sort of joked . . . he was this middle-aged white guy, how he didn’t really fit the (terrorist) profile.”

So Hirsh was shocked to read the headlines Wednesday and discover Sonne is at the centre of a G20 terror investigation.

On Tuesday afternoon, police converged on Sonne’s home on Elderwood Dr. in Forest Hill and arrested him on a slew of charges, the most serious of which is possession of an explosive. He also faces charges of mischief and intimidating a justice system participant.


Faisal Shahzad pleads guilty to attempting to bomb Times Square

Monday, June 21st, 2010

“I am a muslim soldier! I will kill children as required! We terrorists think killing muslims is bad!” And blurted in open court – that doesn’t sound scripted at all. A sensation in the press! Look, it’s already out in the open that Pakistani secret service, the ISI, essentially runs the Taliban. The London School of Economics just put a study out on it. And the CIA has a lot of influence over the ISI still, and runs bases in Pakistan, and has contractors running all over the country besides. The ‘Taliban’. There is no single ‘Taliban’, it’s a diverse system of tribes. And the particular outfit this guy ‘trained’ with is a confirmed CIA front. Everything’s outsourced these days! (It’s a good thing their bomb-training instructors appear to suffer from gross incompetence). If this guy isn’t an outright agent, he’s a complete moron on the order of Abdul Mutallab the crotch-bomber patsy, because the US is just itching to roll across the border and into Pakistan. We need to ‘pull out’ in 2011, after all. And for some odd reason the planned withdrawal route just happens to be through Pakistan, rather than existing airbases in the UAE. And we won’t stop until we’ve wiped out ad-hoc banking like the Hawala system and pacified the nomadic peoples. They’ve very difficult, never staying put. Not readily accepting of occupation, they were so useful against the Russians in the 80s, when we set up and financed ‘Al-Qaeda’. Now they’re in the way of certain strategic resources, so the pawns get pushed off the table in the great geopolitical game. Empires have always conducted themselves in this manner. What don’t people understand about this? The US uses proxy terrorism to accomplish political goals, there are countless documented examples. Noam Chomsky, for one, has devoted almost the entire latter half of his career to exposing this. It’s getting old. So could we please. Stop. Now.

Related: Suspect in failed Times Square bombing indicted | Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike by US | Taliban behind Times Square plot, says US AG Holder | CIA Drones No Longer Need a Name to Kill | Times Square Bomber Linked With CIA-Controlled Terror Group | Faisal Shahzad on Homeland Security List Since 1999 | Times Square Eyewitness: Bomb Scare Looked Like Drill | New York terror suspect received calls from Pakistan before buying SUV, charged with using ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ | Officials seize on Times Square incident to push precrime surveillance network expansion | Frenzied manhunt ends with airplane arrest of New York terror suspect | Potential suspect identified in Times Square bomb plot | Times Square bomb police focus on video of man watching smoking car | ‘Amateurish’ Explosive Found in Parked SUV in Times Square, Suspect Reportedly Recorded

Tom Hays, Associated Press
June 22, 2010

NEW YORK–Calling himself a “Muslim soldier,” a defiant Pakistan-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty Monday to carrying out the failed Times Square car bombing, saying his attack was the answer to “the U.S. terrorizing . . . Muslim people.”

Wearing a white skull cap, Faisal Shahzad entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Manhattan just days after a federal grand jury indicted him on 10 terrorism and weapons counts, some of which carried mandatory life prison sentences. He pleaded guilty to them all.

“One has to understand where I’m coming from,” Shahzad calmly told U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who challenged him repeatedly with questions such as whether he worried about killing children in Times Square. “I consider myself . . . a Muslim soldier.”

The 30-year-old described his effort to set off a bomb in an SUV he parked in Times Square on May 1, saying he chose the warm Saturday night because it would be crowded with people who he could injure or kill.

He revealed that he actually packed his vehicle with three separate bombs, hoping to set off a fertilizer-fuelled bomb packed in a gun cabinet, a set of propane tanks and gas canisters rigged with fireworks to explode into a fireball.

Shahzad said he expected the bombs to begin going off after he lighted a fuse and waited between 2 ½ minutes and five minutes for them to erupt.


US supreme court: Human rights advice, nonviolent aid to banned groups tantamount to ‘terrorism’

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Yes, that’s right – legal rights activism is now terror. Trying to get medical aid through to Palestine? Terror. ‘Giving aid and comfort to the enemy’ by questioning anything the state does? That comes next.

Terror terror terror terror terror terror everywhere, give up all your rights. Meanwhile as Professor Noam Chomsky points out in exhausting detail across his entire body of work, the US is the chief sponsor of international terror worldwide. And he’s not the only one by any means. Had enough yet? America is a one-party state. So wake up or practice your goosestep, choose one. Choose now.

Related: LSE Report: Pakistan ISI backs Taliban | U.S. officials say Pakistani spy agency released Afghan Taliban insurgents | Arrested Terrorist Leader Exposes Extensive CIA Connections | CIA admits Blackwater presence in Pakistan | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | How the US Funds the Taliban | Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater, ISI for Peshawar Blast | Ex-CIA agent confirms US ties with Jundullah | Iranian commanders assassinated, Iran fingers Western intelligence | Madsen: CIA collusion with “Al Qaeda” financiers and attack planners | Whistleblower Who Linked “Taliban” Leader To US Intelligence Is Assassinated | Pakistani president Asif Zardari admits creating terrorist groups | Western Governments Funding Taliban & Al-Qaeda To Kill U.S. Troops, Destabilize Countries | The Main Result of the “War on Terror”: The Destabilization of Pakistan | Report: CIA runs secret bases in Pakistan | Delta Force Officer: We Weren’t Allowed to Kill Osama Bin Laden | Key Benazir Bhutto assassination witness shot dead | CIA, Pakistani ISI have long, complicated relationship | US scales up covert destabilization efforts in Iran, continues funding ‘al-Qaeda’ | Report: U.S. Gave Green Light For Taliban Prison Attack | Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: US Indirectly Funding Al-Qaeda Linked Sunni Groups in Move to Counter Iran | US Allowed Taliban, Al-Qaeda Airlift Evacuation

Chris McGreal, The Guardian
June 21, 2010

Decision means people could be prosecuted for offering assistance of any kind to terrorist organisations

The US supreme court has upheld a broad-ranging law that allows Americans who offer advice to banned organisations, including legal assistance and information on conflict resolution, to be prosecuted as terrorists.

The case arose out of human rights advice given by a California group to Kurdish and Tamil organisations that are listed as terrorist groups in the US.

The supreme court upheld the Obama administration’s argument that even advice intended to be used for peaceful purposes amounted to “material support” for terrorism.

That includes a lawyer submitting a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a banned group or helping a proscribed organisation to petition international bodies to bring an end to a violent conflict.

“The supreme court has ruled that human rights advocates, providing training and assistance in the nonviolent resolution of disputes, can be prosecuted as terrorists,” said David Cole, a Georgetown university law professor who argued the case before the court.

“In the name of fighting terrorism, the court has said that the first amendment [on free speech] permits congress to make it a crime to work for peace and human rights. That is wrong.”

The ruling is likely to further complicate the work of activists in support of controversial causes that has already seen highly contentious prosecutions over other forms of support, such as fundraising.

Palestinian activists have been prosecuted and jailed for raising cash for social groups dealing with issues such as housing and welfare that have ties to Hamas, which governs Gaza.


Police push ahead with firebombing investigation

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Let’s review. Owning some ammunition – neither bad nor illegal. Being an activist and writing letters to newspapers – atypically commendable. Potentially having firebombed a bank – now that’s bad and illegal, but we’ll have to wait until the layers of secrecy are lifted from the warrants and evidence before a clearer picture will begin to emerge in this case.

Related: Three held in bank firebombing may face terrorism charges | Ottawa RBC firebomb case: I’m not linked to the attack, ex-government worker who rented SUV says | Bank firebomb suspects hung out briefly at Ottawa cafe | Toronto banks review G20 security after Ottawa RBC fire | RBC firebombed as protest, group claims

Gary Dimmock, The Ottawa Citizen
June 19, 2010

‘No stone unturned,’ top Mountie says as full-attention turns to terrorism

OTTAWA – The three men charged in the May 18 firebombing of a Glebe bank are also being investigated for possible terrorism charges, a senior RCMP officer said Saturday, after police detectives discovered an “alarming” cache of ammunition nine days after the suspects are accused of using an accelerant and an improvised explosive device to torch the Royal Bank of Canada branch.

Assistant RCMP Commissioner François Bidal said Saturday morning that his force “will leave no stone unturned” in its continuing investigation.

Earlier Saturday the three alleged members of Fighting for Freedom Coalition-Ottawa, appeared in Ottawa court and were remanded in custody pending a bail hearing no later than Friday.

The Royal Bank branch was firebombed because it was a sponsor of the Vancouver Olympics. In a statement posted in a “catch-me-if-you-can” online video of the attack, a group claiming to be FFFC-Ottawa warned they would also be “present” at the upcoming G20 Summit.

Ottawa police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP had the suspects under surveillance within days of the firebombing. The video actually helped police zero in on the suspects, who allegedly used a 2010 Acadia SUV to leave the scene.


Real IRA plot accused entrapped by MI5 rules judge

Friday, June 18th, 2010

This organization has the stink of spooks. See also this article on a sting in Lithuania in 2009, and this article which features the Real IRA making threats against mainland Britain in the photo below. It’s pretty suspicious, and ties into the same old pattern of state provocation. The Real IRA has in the past been exposed as being run by MI5 agents, as was the case in the Omagh bombing, and it appears that the British officials are keen to continue keeping people in fear through this same control mechanism despite the recent apology to victims of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre.

Related: Bloody Sunday report released, UK soldiers may face prosecution over ‘72 massacre of Irish | Army defuses huge bomb on Northern Ireland border | Security guards stood by as gunmen killed Northern Ireland soldiers

BBC News
June 18, 2010

A man accused of smuggling guns for the Real IRA has walked free from court after a judge ruled he had been wrongfully entrapped in an MI5 ‘sting’.

The case against Desmond Kearns, 44, from Tannaghmore Green, Lurgan, collapsed on Friday.

He had been charged with attempting to smuggle arms and explosives from Europe in an alleged Real IRA arms operation.

But the case was stopped when a judge ruled that an MI5 agent, known only as Amir had “entrapped” him.

In Belfast’s crown court on Friday, the prosecution decided not to contest the judge’s ruling.

Mr Kearns had denied two charges of plotting to possess guns and explosives between May 2005 and June 2006.

In his ruling on Thursday, Mr Justice Hart said that having reviewed the evidence, “the edifice of the prosecution case” rested on “inadequate foundations and therefore that edifice cannot stand”.


Suspect in failed Times Square bombing indicted

Friday, June 18th, 2010

You can bet Shahzad’s handlers hadn’t told him this would happen – just so long as he cooperated fully. The only upside for Shahzad here is that at least he didn’t have to burn out his crotch like the Christmas underwear bomber. Hope he’s ready to be hung out to dry, though, along with anyone else contemplating ‘jihad’ by hooking up with the ISI-run Pakistani Taliban.

Related: Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike by US | Taliban behind Times Square plot, says US AG Holder | CIA Drones No Longer Need a Name to Kill | Times Square Bomber Linked With CIA-Controlled Terror Group | Faisal Shahzad on Homeland Security List Since 1999 | Times Square Eyewitness: Bomb Scare Looked Like Drill | New York terror suspect received calls from Pakistan before buying SUV, charged with using ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’ | Officials seize on Times Square incident to push precrime surveillance network expansion | Frenzied manhunt ends with airplane arrest of New York terror suspect | Potential suspect identified in Times Square bomb plot | Times Square bomb police focus on video of man watching smoking car | ‘Amateurish’ Explosive Found in Parked SUV in Times Square, Suspect Reportedly Recorded

Larry Neumeister, The Globe and mail
June 18, 2010

Faisal Shahzad charged with 10 counts related to weapons and terrorism, faces possible life sentence

Times Square bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad was charged Thursday with 10 terrorism and weapons counts in an indictment that accuses him of receiving explosives training from the Pakistani Taliban months before the botched bombing.

The indictment returned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan added five charges to the original case against the 30-year-old Mr. Shahzad.

“The facts alleged in this indictment show that the Pakistani Taliban facilitated Faisal Shahzad’s attempted attack on American soil,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a release. “Our nation averted serious loss of life in this attempted bombing, but it is a reminder that we face an evolving threat that we must continue to fight with every tool available to the government.”

The indictment alleged that Mr. Shahzad received explosives training in Waziristan, Pakistan, in December 2009 from trainers affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban, a militant extremist group based in Pakistan.


Three held in bank firebombing may face terrorism charges

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The plot, as they say, thickens.

Related: Ottawa RBC firebomb case: I’m not linked to the attack, ex-government worker who rented SUV says | Bank firebomb suspects hung out briefly at Ottawa cafe | Toronto banks review G20 security after Ottawa RBC fire | RBC firebombed as protest, group claims

Gary Dimmock, Canwest News Service
June 18, 2010

OTTAWA – Three men – including two in their 50s – have been arrested in the investigation into the firebombing of an uptown Ottawa bank last month.

In the Friday morning raids, Ottawa Police arrested one man downtown, and a second at his home in nearby Stittsville, Ont. A third man in his early 30s has also been picked up. His name is Matthew Morgan-Brown, of Ottawa. He is a well known activist. He was arrested before the 2007 Montebello summit and charged with assaulting police. He was also arrested in 2004 for vandalizing downtown buildings during an antiwar protest.

Claude Haridge, 50, of Stittsville is in police custody, charged with arson and mischief. Days after the firebombing, which was filmed and posted online in a “catch-me-if-you-can” video, the 50-year-old accused was arrested in an unrelated investigation. In that probe, the accused firebomber was charged with careless storage of ammunition.

The 58-year-old accused is Roger Clement a retired federal public servant, is also in police custody and charged with arson. Detectives believe he rented a 2010 SUV, which was used as the getaway car.

The licence plate of the truck was caught on security video, which led detectives to check rental car records.