A minor in Kingston, Ontario has been charged with terrorism-related activities after two raids by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police last Thursday.
The individual, who cannot be named due to his age, has been charged with “facilitating terrorism” and planning to “deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or other lethal devices against a place of public use with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury.”
A second person, identified by his family as 20-year old Hussam Eddin Alzahabi, was arrested but later released without charges.
Police say Alzahabi was a friend of the accused minor.
Alzahabi, originally from Syria, came to Canada as refugees in 2016 and was sponsored by four local Kingston churches.
Alzahabi’s father has denied that his son had any involvement in terrorism.
“It’s fake news about my son,” his father told CBC.
“I trust my son. I know he cannot do anything against any human, humanity.”
Ward Elcock, a former CSIS director, told Global News that the FBI tip that led to the arrest points to an international conspiracy to commit terrorism.
“It suggests that somebody from Kingston had contacted somebody in the United States or potentially somebody in the United States had contacted somebody in Kingston,” Elcock said.
The RCMP would not comment on potential motives of the accused — including whether he was radicalized or if he was in communication with any foreign elements.
While the RCMP says no one was in immediate danger, officers amassed enough evidence to raid two Kingston homes and make arrests. In the course of these raids, police recovered trace materials from explosives.
Police did a controlled demolition of a device Friday morning. Investigators say there was not yet a target location for an attack.
The RCMP says it has “extinguished” any threat.
The investigation started with a “credible” tip from the FBI, RCMP Superintendent Peter Lambertucci said at a Friday press conference. Multiple agencies were involved, ranging from local and provincial police to CSIS and department of finance officials who monitor possible financial crimes.