British Columbia

Surveillance tapes show B.C. terror suspect boasting of jihad and videogames

A judge has heard arguments about whether RCMP went too far and entrapped the couple found guilty in the B.C. legislature bomb plot.

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were found guilty of plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature in 2013

John Nuttall on RCMP surveillance tapes released by the B.C. Supreme Court after they were presented to the judge at his entrapment trial. (RCMP)

A B.C. court has released secret surveillance tapes of a man found guilty of masterminding a terrorist bomb plot, which were played as part of a hearing to decide whether RCMP entrapped the would-be bombers.

John Nuttall and his common-law partner Amanda Korody were found guilty last June by a jury of plotting to blow up the provincial legislature during Canada Day celebrations three years ago.

The convictions are on hold while their lawyers argue whether police went too far in helping the pair carry out their plans.

Crown prosecutor Peter Eccles said video footage, audio recordings and police notes dispute the entrapment argument, showing that Nuttall and Korody posed a threat to society before they were ever targeted in a police sting.

The defence argued that police essentially created a terrorist, by enabling a feeble-minded Nuttall and his gullible girlfriend Korody.

Jihad, guns and videogames

In the tapes, which weren't shown to the jury at the earlier trial, Nuttall talked at length about jihad and dying as a martyr for Islam.

"Is there any better way to die than ... in a way that propagates Islam," he said.

At one point in the tapes, Nuttall sits in the front seat of a vehicle and tells an undercover officer about his plan to kill a former U.S. soldier he knows.

The soldier deserves to die, he said, because he served in Iraq and may have harmed Muslims.

"[I] want to put a gun to his head and I want to say, right before I pull the trigger, I want to say, taste what you used to deny and send him straight to the hellfire."

Nuttall also talked about his violent criminal past — something the jury didn't hear during the trial on terror charges, in order to avoid prejudicing his case.

He also said he hadn't fired a gun in years, and talked at length about paintball and video games, saying they're an important part of his training for jhad.

Nuttall appeared in various states in the videos, at times smoking, drinking from a Tim Hortons Cup or Mountain Dew bottle, or dressed in a suit and tie. (RCMP)

Final arguments in June

In Canada, the question of entrapment is heard by a judge, not a jury, because the issue is considered a question of law.

Nuttall and Korody were arrested, July 1, 2013, following an elaborate RCMP sting operation in which officers posed as Muslim extremists.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce, who was the trial judge, is also hearing entrapment arguments in the case.

The case goes back to court for final arguments in June.

With files from Greg Rasmussen and the Canadian Press