Kingston youth pleads guilty to terror charges after January 2019 arrest

Kingston youth pleads guilty to terror charges after January 2019 arrest

OTTAWA — A teenager arrested in an RCMP raid in Kingston, Ont., last year has pleaded guilty to a series of terrorism-related charges for trying to encourage and facilitate a bomb attack.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, admitted to the four charges — plus another for violating his bail conditions — during a video appearance in the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville, Ont., on Tuesday.

Sentencing is expected at a later date. The Crown is asking that the youth be sentenced as an adult. Justice Elaine Deluzio ordered a psychiatric assessment and a pre-sentence report be compiled, with the case expected back in court on Sept. 29.

The Canadian Press monitored the proceedings via telephone due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RCMP arrested the youth during a raid in Kingston on Jan. 25, 2019, following an investigation initiated by a tip from the FBI in the United States after the teen began unwittingly communicating with an FBI undercover agent.

According to an agreed statement of facts read in English by the Crown and translated into Arabic in court, the youth thought the agent was a “lone wolf” Islamic terrorist in Virginia who needed support.

The youth sent the agent instructions on how to build a pressure-cooker bomb. He also encouraged him to build it and plant it in a public place, such as a bar, to kill “infidels,” according to the statement of facts, saying such an attack would help the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

While the RCMP have said an explosive device was not planted, the court heard police seized a number of explosive substances and that the youth admitted to manufacturing an explosive substance and planned to put it in a public place or beneath a police or military vehicle.

He also admitted to creating a PowerPoint presentation with instructions on how to build a pressure-cooker bomb and disseminating the information online.

The youth pleaded guilty Tuesday to facilitating a terrorist activity, possession of an explosive substance with intent to injure or kill, taking action to cause an explosion and counselling another person to detonate an explosive device to cause injury or death.

He also admitted to breaching his bail conditions for failing to wear a tracking device.

Like the rest of the proceeding, the charges were read in English and translated into Arabic. The youth, who at one point was warned by the judge to keep his eyes open, pleaded guilty to each charge in Arabic.

The youth’s arrest in January 2019 caused a stir following an investigation that included assistance from the FBI, Kingston police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the federal agency that tracks suspicious financial activities.

The effort included a small RCMP surveillance plane, whose circling over Kingston had puzzled, and sometimes annoyed, residents of the normally sedate city on the shore of Lake Ontario for weeks. The RCMP said the aerial support helped police keep tabs on certain addresses.

The arrest also stoked fresh fears at the time about ISIL sympathizers in Canada. Two Canadian Armed Forces members were killed in separate attacks in 2014.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2020.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Terrorism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

The Bellows family on vacation last year in Mexico. L-R: Angel, Ryan, Darrel, Grace and Michael. (Photo submitted)
Rimbey community rallying behind family after cancer diagnosis

Michael Bellows, 12, a ‘strong, resilient kid’ says father

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Executive Director of Agape Kate Halas (left) receives $1000 from Sgt. Eric Christensen (right) on behalf of Agape. Photo/ Shaela Dansereau.
Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer wins provincial award; gives back to Wetaskiwin community

Eric Christensen has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(The Canadian Perss)
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Researchers looked at 72 radio-collared wolves in the national park from 1987 to August 2019

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Miramar Regional Park in Miramar, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is still hopeful about the Keystone pipeline if there’s a change in government in the U.S. next month, saying Alberta has been engaging with American officials from both sides of the aisle. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carolyn Kaster
Alberta premier says he’s still hopeful about Keystone, even if Biden elected

The Alberta government has agreed to invest about US$1.1 billion as equity in the project

Most Read