POLITICS

B.C. terror trial sees video of accused allegedly planting pressure-cooker bombs

04/27/2015 02:32 EDT | Updated 07/31/2015 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - A jury sat riveted in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday watching a series of videos that show a pair of accused terrorists hiding two packages on the grounds of the provincial legislature in the early hours of July 1, 2013.

The videos appear to be the culmination of a months-long RCMP sting that led to the arrests of the couple for allegedly plotting to detonate pressure-cooker explosives at the B.C. legislature on Canada Day two years ago.

In several videos, the lanky and hooded figure of John Nuttall is shown stuffing a large blue duffel bag beneath the bushes covered with purple and yellow flowers that decorate the building's west breezeway.

Nuttall's torso is entirely obscured as he leans into the greenery, his back becoming increasingly covered with yellow petals as he struggles to rearrange the bag.

Video footage taken minutes later shows him holding a large knife in his right, gloved hand as he returns to a white van waiting for him on a neighbouring street.

The jury has heard in earlier testimony that Nuttall reported he nearly used a knife to kill a homeless man when he was returning from planting the explosive device.

Other videos showed Nuttall's wife and co-accused Amanda Korody dropping off a dark package on the opposite side of the building.

Footage taken by surveillance officers and CCTV cameras show her walking briskly onto the deserted legislature grounds and leaning into some foliage. She leaves a few moments later, empty handed.

Both Nuttall and Korody have pleaded not guilty to four terrorism-related charges.

Covert video taken the day before the alleged bombings shows Nuttall, sporting a straw hat, and Korody — who has removed the traditional Muslim head covering she usually wears — meandering across the grounds alongside the key undercover officer involved in the operation.

Nuttall and Korody believe the officer is an Arab businessman with links to organized terrorist groups.

The legislature lawn is shown teeming with an early-evening crowd, with families pushing strollers, tourists milling about and young people kicking around a soccer ball. Fences and stages had been set up in anticipation of the following day's Canada Day festivities.

Earlier on Monday, the court heard from an undercover officer who posed as a high-ranking terrorist whom Nuttall asked for a supply of C4 plastic explosives.

"Please will you help me fight?" Nuttall is heard pleading with the officer in an audio recording. The officer had rebuked him a short time earlier for wasting his time with a poorly conceived plan.

"I need to fight these (infidels)," Nuttall insists. "We really, really need your help. I'm begging you."

Nuttall is also heard in the recording telling the supposed terrorist leader that he loves and would die for the man he believes is an Arab businessman, often referring to him using the Arabic words for brother and beloved.

After agreeing to provide the explosive material, the undercover officer leaves Nuttall and Korody but his recording equipment remains on and captures him mumbling to himself: "He's not ready. Or is he?"

On cross-examination, the officer testified that he was surprised at how nervous Nuttall appeared and described the plan of the accused as "just a mishmash of ideas."

"It was kind of scattered," he said. "There was no semblance of a viable, working plan."

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