Last Canada Day, the two suspects in this year's Canada Day bomb plot were looking for rides to go paintballing.

Amanda Korody posted in an online forum that she and her husband, John Stewart Nuttall, wanted to celebrate Canada's "freedom from England… by shooting each other in the face with brightly coloured paint."

Fellow paintballer Randy Tetzlaff said Korody came to play only once that he could remember and seemed intimidated by the game. Then she and Nuttall stopped coming last August, and he never saw them again.

This year, Nuttall and Korody, both of Surrey, B.C., were arrested on Canada Day and charged in a plot to plant explosives near the provincial legislature.

Friends and acquaintances have told CBC News that Nuttall converted to Islam, appeared to be very devout, and can be strongly opinionated in political matters.

Friend Michael Laur doesn't think of Nuttall as a "terrorist" but as a man seeking revenge against institutions.

"To equate him with, like, a terrorist, or somebody who would take somebody for ransom … that's not his mindset. He wouldn't think that way," Laur said.

"It's all a matter of a revenge scenario inside of his head, that he's strong enough to do it and they're going to pay."

Suspect hoped to die a martyr

That mindset was expressed in a post Nuttall made on a YouTube forum nine months ago, where he responded to another commenter who insulted Muhammad, calling him a "kafir" — an Arabic term for "unbeliever."

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A photograph posted to a paintball enthusiasts' forum shows accused bomb-plotter John Nuttall. He used the handle 'Mujahid' in the forum. (via outlawpaintball.net)

"Hey kafir, you wanna say that to my face?" Nuttall wrote. He went on to suggest an intersection in Surrey where they could meet.

Nuttall then wrote: "I am a Mujahid and inshAllah I will die a Shaheed!" meaning, "I am a Muslim who believes in the jihad, and God-willing, I will die a martyr."

"Call me so we can set this up," Nuttall wrote, and included his phone number.

Nuttall and Korody are in jail, and are scheduled to appear in court again next Tuesday.

With files from the CBC's Dan Burritt and Petti Fong