POLITICS

RCMP went to the Internet to make fake bombs realistic in B.C. terrorism case

05/04/2015 03:15 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 05:12 EDT
VANCOUVER - A small fraction of the C4 plastic explosive sought by a couple accused of plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature would have been enough to cause serious damage, a jury has heard.

"If you were to hold a detonator in your hand and close your palm around it, it would likely take off most of your hand," Const. Peter Cucheran said in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday. He added that a live detonator contained the equivalent of just a single gram of C4.

One gram of C4 is just 0.2 per cent of the nearly half kilogram of explosive allegedly requested by John Nuttall for each of the three homemade pressure-cooker bombs he and his wife Amanda Korody are accused of depositing on the legislature grounds on Canada Day 2013.

"If you were open-palmed and you had a detonator lying on your hand it's going to cause a lot of damage," Cucheran said. "It may even put a hole through your hand."

When asked to build inert bombs for the police sting targeting the two alleged terrorists, Cucheran told the jury he used the same source accessed by Nuttall for his explosive-making instructions: the article entitled How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom from al Qaeda's online magazine Inspire.

Cucheran walked the jury through a series of photographs documenting the construction of the explosive devices, highlighting the "rusty nails" glued to the interior of the pressure cookers and then covered with metal nuts and washers.

Including shrapnel in an explosive increases its effective range and likelihood of causing injury or death, he said.

Earlier in the day the jury watched a series of shaky videos taken by Nuttall of a provincial legislature tour during a reconnaissance mission to Victoria in the leadup to July 1.

In one of the videos, Nuttall pointed out a Star of David in stained glass he described disparagingly as a "Jewish symbol."

During the tour, he approached a large wall-mounted effigy of the provincial coat of arms and said in a hushed voice: "At the very top you see the crown, meaning that's who runs our country, the monarchy in Britain."

He then panned his hand-held camera down to a symbol of a setting sun after the tour guide told the group it represents B.C. as Canada's westernmost province.

"The sun here, that represents sun worship," countered Nuttall quietly.

Court has heard the videos were discovered on Nuttall and Korody's laptops, which were seized when the couple was arrested on July 1, 2013.

Jurors previously heard that the laptops also contained recordings of the Qur'an, along with extremist literature — such as Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" and "The Anarchist's Cookbook" — as well as files with instructions on building and setting off explosives.

Police computer expert Cpl. Barry Salt has testified that while forensic analysis can outline computer activity in great detail, it cannot determine who was on a machine creating a file or visiting a website, for example.

"Anyone with access to one of these devices would be able to conduct an Internet search and download a video," he said.

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