POLITICS

B.C. man accused of terrorism didn't want to die a martyr, trial hears

02/25/2015 03:17 EST | Updated 04/27/2015 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - A British Columbia man accused of plotting to bomb the provincial legislature on Canada Day told an undercover RCMP officer that he didn't wish to die a martyr because he wanted to continue his mission, his trial has heard.

John Nuttall and his wife Amanda Korody were charged in July 2013 after an RCMP investigation, in which they were captured on video discussing their plans with an officer posing as an Arab businessman.

Nuttall told the officer numerous times that he wanted to embark on jihad to avenge what he believed was the Canadian military's mistreatment of Muslims abroad. Nuttall and Korody were recent converts to Islam, the trial has heard.

In a video played for the jury Wednesday, Nuttall tells the officer that he isn't interested in a suicide mission and wants to ensure he and Korody return alive. The video was recorded June 28, 2013.

"I'm not going to blow myself to kill a few taxpayers," says Nuttall, who is sitting in the passenger seat of the officer's truck, with Korody in the back.

"Sure, it will send a message, but I can send other messages."

Nuttall expresses concern that the planned attack will end with him and Korody either being captured or killed.

When they drop off the bombs at the legislature, whether that happens in the middle of the night or during the day, Nuttall says they risk being captured on security cameras. He worries that would reveal their identities to police and ultimately end with them being killed.

Hiding the bombs beforehand also increases the possibility that someone will find them and remove them, he says.

Another possibility, says Nuttall, would be to turn the plan into a suicide mission — a notion he quickly dismisses.

"The way to do this properly is (martyrdom), but that's not going to work," he says.

"I don't want to kill myself just to kill some taxpayers."

He suggests choosing a "softer target" than the B.C. legislature that would allow them to more easily avoid being killed. A day earlier, Nuttall suggested changing to another date instead of Canada Day because increased holiday security at the legislature and the crowds would make it difficult to escape.

Nuttall also made it clear he wants to be armed when they carry out their plan.

In another video, recorded earlier in the morning when Nuttall and Korody were alone in a motel room south of Vancouver, Nuttall becomes agitated when the subject of weapons comes up.

He curses several times and raises his voice as he insists he and Korody must be armed on Canada Day. He says he isn't doing anything without a gun.

"I will not — no," he says.

"He (the officer) can give it to me and say, 'Don't fire it until you see me fire it first or unless fired upon,' I'll accept those rules."

In previous videos, Nuttall has repeatedly asked the officer to secure automatic weapons, such as an AK-47, an Uzi or a sniper rifle. Nuttall has suggested his extensive experience playing paintball would help him use a gun, though he said Korody might need to be trained.

The officer has been non-committal on the subject, saying he'll look into it but not promising to acquire guns for the couple.

The Crown has told jurors they will see evidence that shows Nuttall and Korody place pressure-cooker bombs on the lawn of the legislature early in the morning on Canada Day. The bombs were timed to explode about 15 minutes apart starting at 10 a.m., the Crown has said, but the RCMP ensured the bombs were inert.

Nuttall has explained in the videos that he wants to launch an attack because of the Canadian military's involvement in Muslim countries.

Nuttall and Korody each face four charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to place explosives on behalf of a terrorist group.

They have both pleaded not guilty.

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