Canada

Fertilizer purchase no threat: police

Police have recovered 1,625 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, a chemical fertilizer sometimes used to make bombs, saying there was nothing suspicious about its purchase.

Chemical fertilizer a potential ingredient in bomb-making

The Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd. sold a man about 1,600 kilograms of ammonium nitrate fertilizer two weeks ago without recording his identity. ((Google Streetview))

Police have recovered 1,625 kilograms of ammonium nitrate — a chemical fertilizer that can be used as a key ingredient in bomb-making — saying there was nothing suspicious about its purchase.

Investigators have determined the purchaser is a farmer who bought the ammonium nitrate to use as fertilizer.

"There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the purchase of the ammonium nitrate. It is expected that there will be no charges," the Toronto Police Services said in a news release.

Police said they located the ammonium nitrate from two Toronto addresses.

Police said the purchaser contacted investigators after composite sketches of the man were released to the media.

Earlier, police in southern Ontario asked for the public's help in finding the man who bought the fertilizer.

The RCMP confirmed the man purchased 65 25-kilogram bags of the fertilizer on May 26 at a store in Lincoln, Ont., near St. Catharines in the Niagara region.

Insp. Gord Sneddon of the Integrated Security Unit said at a news conference Wednesday that the man told the farm-supply store he was buying the agricultural fertilizer for a regular customer.

Sneddon said that was a lie.

Police also said it appeared proper procedures were not followed in the sale and the farm supplier, Vineland Growers' Co-operative Ltd., did not get the man's identification.

Police said they have no evidence of any link between the purchase and this month's G20 summit in Toronto, but that they were worried about the missing fertilizer.

Buyer had minivan and flatbed trailer

The man was described as being between five feet six inches  and five feet eight inches tall with a stocky build and brown, unkempt hair. He is believed to be between 50 and 60 years old, with a very strong accent, possibly of European descent.

He is missing two fingers on his right hand and walks with a slight limp.

Police had asked for the public's help in identifying this man. ((CBC))

He left the store's parking area pulling a flatbed trailer with an older model maroon or red minivan, police say.

The ammonium nitrate purchase comes as police and the military begin tightening security because of the G8 and G20 summits in Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto.

Amendments to Canada's Explosives Act passed in 2008 require a vendor of ammonium nitrate to record the purchases and who bought the fertilizer, and to alert police if they think there is something suspicious about a purchase.

U.S. bomber Timothy McVeigh used ammonium nitrate to blow up a government building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

With files from The Canadian Press