Jeffrey Labelle, 21, facing terror hoax charge in Montreal
Family alerts police with concerns of son's suspected radicalization
Jeffrey Labelle, a 21-year-old man from Montreal's St-Michel neighbourhood, is facing a terrorism-related charge after Montreal police say they were contacted by his family members, who feared he had become radicalized.
Police say no direct threats were made and that they arrested Labelle as a "preventive'' measure.
They searched his home on Friday and say they found a city map that showed the co-ordinates of four different police stations.
He is facing a charge under the terrorism hoax section of the Criminal Code, under a provision related to anyone who "commits an act that, in all the circumstances, is likely to cause a reasonable apprehension that terrorist activity is occurring or will occur, without believing that such activity is occurring or will occur."
Labelle appeared in court briefly Monday afternoon but the judge suspended the case until Tuesday to allow his father to testify.
He is expected to offer the court guarantees he hopes will persuade a judge to release his 21-year-old son into his custody.
The young man, bearded and wearing a maroon, black and yellow sweater under a black winter vest, looked confused as he stood handcuffed in the dock on Monday.
His lawyer, Julie Bernier said after the court proceedings she thought Labelle looked "stressed.''
"You have to understand that he has no prior convictions and this was the first time he was in front of a court," Bernier said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow (Tuesday)."
Extra cautious after attacks
Police in Montreal said they are being cautious in the wake of the two police shootings in New York City on the weekend.
The president of the Montreal police brotherhood, Yves Francoeur, told CBC’s Daybreak on Monday morning that the prevalence of “lone-wolf” attacks against police officers makes it difficult to prepare for attacks.
He said the most effective way for police to intervene is for the public to report them, and added the only common thread between different police slayings this year was warnings online before they happened.
“We have to stay alert all the time. We have to increase our security measures around the police stations,” said Francoeur.
“Since the events in Ottawa, [and] in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, all information is serious for any police department.”
Federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, a Quebec MP, released a statement Monday commending the Montreal police for their investigation into "all threats."
"Ongoing vigilance on the part of our law- enforcement organizations is key to ensuring the safety and security of all Canadians," Blaney said.
with files from Canadian Press