A teen bomb maker, a 17-year-old Canadian, who was 16 at the time of his arrest in January 2019, pleaded guilty to four terrorism offences today.
Prior to his arrest, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers from Lloydminster and the Edmonton Police Service Explosive Disposal Unit had responded to a report of explosives in a storage facility. They discovered bomb-making materials in one of the storage units. RCMP described the bomb-making material as “precursor chemicals and other devices used to make explosive material.” While searching the 16-year-old suspect’s home, RCMP discovered additional precursor chemicals.
See the press release: Young Person Pleads Guilty to Four Terrorism Offences
The 17-year-old whose name cannot be released because he was 16 at the time of the offence pled guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice youth court.
The four offences he was charged with are:
- Facilitating a terrorist activity – s. 83.19
- Possession of an explosive substance with the intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property – s. 81(1)(d)
- Intent to cause an explosion of an explosive substance likely to cause serious bodily harm or death – s. 81(1)(a)
- Counselling someone to detonate an explosive device in a public place to cause serious injury or death – ss. 464(a) and 431.2
While released on bail, in April 2019, he cut off his monitoring bracelet, was rearrested and placed into custody where he remained until the court appearance.
The accused admitted to manufacturing an explosive substance, with the objective of manufacturing an explosive device. His aim was to place the explosive device either in a public place or under a police or military vehicle with the intent of killing innocent people.
While searching his residence at the time of his arrest, police discovered and seized all of the materials necessary to build the explosive device. He also created and disseminated a PowerPoint presentation with details of the instructions to build a pressure cooker bomb.
The stated objective of this was to commit terrorist activities for the benefit of the “Islamic State.”
After providing the instructions in the PowerPoint presentation, he spoke to another individual about building the device. The aim was to place it in a public place, a bar, with the intent of killing innocent people “for a political, religious or ideological purpose.”
RCMP also searched the home of a 20 year old friend of the accused, who was later released. The 20-year-old and his family were Syrian refugees, brought to Kingston, Ontario by church groups. It is not known whether the teenager is also a Syrian refugee, but he did need an arabic translator at the time of his first arrest.
Tom Lemon, a prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, said, “The charges required significant domestic and international cooperation to effectively gather the necessary evidence, as terrorism respects no borders.”
The young man will be sentenced at a later date.