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Should the alleged Montreal smoke-bombers be charged with inciting fear of terrorism?

Categories: Canada, Community

Four people charged with inciting fear of terrorism in connection to Thursday's rush-hour smoke bombing of the Montreal metro system have a bail hearing Monday morning.

 Smoke billows through the tunnel at Montreal's Préfontaine station Thursday morning. (Twitter) François-Vivier Gagnon, Geneviève Vaillancourt, Vanessa L'Écuyer and Roxanne Bélisle turned themselves in on Friday. They've all been charged with perpetrating a hoax regarding terrorist activity, conspiracy and mischief over $5,000. Gagnon faces an additional charge of possession of a prohibited weapon.

The smoke bombs set off in Montreal's subway shut down the entire system for more than three hours during morning rush hour, stranding hundreds of thousands of commuters.

The four accused are charged in connection with one smoke bomb that detonated at a station connecting two subway lines. Two other devices went off at two other stations.

The hoax charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

In the comments of Friday's story, the CBC Community was overwhelmingly in support of the harsh charges.

  • "This is terrorism pure and simple. If convicted, a significant amount of time in jail time is in order. We need to send a clear message to those who think they can muster public support to their cause by committing criminal acts," said ATC001.

  • "How can this garner any support for these 'hard-done-by' students? I see this type of terrorism only bringing contempt for them, right across the nation," said CanadianBubba.

  • "Although these kids probably think this was fun and games, this is an act of terrorism and should be treated as such. Imagine how you would have felt if you were there when the smoke bombs went off," said Reflector.

On the other hand, many of the commenters said connecting the smoke bombing to terrorism was over the top.

  • "Hey folks, wrong as they were these were 'smoke' bombs. If you want to label smoke bombs as terrorist acts, what are you going to call REAL bombs?" said Windie.

  • "If u call this silly stunt terrorism then you have never really known real terrorism, this is a joke," said markwmtl

  • "Saying 'someone could have died' is not an argument. There are many scenarios where someone could be hurt or killed, such as a civil disobedience of blocking doors or roads. You don't charge people for terrorism simply based on a plausible situation because this was clearly vandalism, not terrorism," said hakimbey.

Do you think that charges of perpetrating a hoax regarding terrorist activity are fair for the alleged Montreal smoke-bombers? Should the charges be more severe or less? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: education, law, Politics, POV, Quebec

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