VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – We’re learning more about the man and woman accused of plotting to blow up the BC Legislature during Canada Day celebrations earlier this week.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody are in a relationship and had been living in Surrey.
Korody doesn’t have a criminal record, but Nutall has a rap sheet that dates back more than a decade.
Three years ago he was found guilty of possession of a weapon in Victoria. He was also convicted of assault in Victoria is 2003.
He is also a musician and members of his former band “Lust Boys” say they don’t share any of his opinions or views and have never been affiliated with any terrorist plots.
One of Nuttall’s former bandmates says he was a violent drunk who was not religious.
Colin Stuart, whose stage name is Tommy Thrust, says Nuttall did a one-month try-out in 2009 to play guitar with the the Lust Boys. “It doesn’t really make any sense to me, because when he was in the band, when I knew him, he never made any reference to religion. He was more into politics, what he understood of politics.”
The couple’s landlord is questioning how they could have financed such a plan.
The woman, who does not want her name used, says Nuttall was always polite and he and Korody always paid their rent on time, although they had very little cash.
She says Nuttall and Korody even had to borrow money from her and she says if they didn’t have money for basics, how could they purchase items for alleged homemade pressure cooker bombs and move the explosives to a Victoria suite shared by the couple.
News1130′s Jesse Johnston toured the suite. “You walk through the front door and the smell coming from the cat litter box just about knocks you over.”
Johnston found a Bible sitting on a couch and writing in Arabic on the walls.
“You notice there were suitcases and clothes thrown all over the place. Remember, the police have been through here, so it’s hard to tell if this place ended up the way it is, in this kind of mess, because the police came through here in the raid or if this is actually how these two people live,” he adds.
Head of the BC Muslim Association reacts to arrests
The largest Muslim association in the province is denouncing those who carry out violence in the name of religion, saying Islam is not about violence.
RCMP yesterday declined to clarify whether religion played a role in a plot police describe as Al Qaeda inspired.
And some who know John Nuttall – the man arrested – say he was a convert to Islam.
But Musa Ismail of the BC Muslim Association rejects any connection. “Absolutely, it’s no reflection or should not have any reflection on Islam, the religion I am talking about, because our religion is a religion of peace and harmony.”
He emphasizes there’s a difference between Al Qaeda ideology and his religion. “This is the message we give out all the time, to our youths, to our followers, that violence does not belong to Islam.”
Ismail says he had never heard of or seen Nuttall before news broke yesterday.
There is no need to worry about safety at upcoming events: VPD
Vancouver Police are reassuring the public that upcoming events like the Celebration of Light are safe.
The VPD has a specialized unit that handles security at events, large and small, and Constable Brian Montague says it’s well prepared.
“We haven’t received any information at this point to tell us that things will be any different for any upcoming events,” he says.
“We also have an extremely comprehensive emergency response plan should anything happen.”
This is the 23rd year fo the Celebration of light, which begins on July 27th. The annual fireworks show also runs on July 31st and August 3rd.