Police detonate 3 bombs found in Toronto car trunk
Man, 37, arrested and charged in connection with recent letter bomb incidents
Toronto police performed a controlled detonationof three bombs in an isolated waterfront area on Friday aftertransporting thedevices from the city's east end amid heavysecurity.
Investigatorsalleged thedevices —described as35- to 45-centimetrepackages with an as yetunidentified explosive— were discovered after a mandriving the vehiclewas arrestedlate Thursday night in connection with three letter-bomb incidents earlier this month.
Police took the extraordinary step of closing off a major roadway to transport the bombsandperformthe controlled detonation at about 3 p.m. ET. A large plume of smoke rose from the site.
Just after noon ET, a special explosives trailercarrying the devices slowly began travellingsouthbound onthe Don Valley Parkway — just metres fromlong-weekend traffic fillingthe northbound lanes —to the Leslie Street Spitmore than seven kilometres awayat the edge of Lake Ontario.
Deputy Chief Tony Warr said theextraordinary safety precautions were necessary afterbomb technicians determined the bombs could not be defused.
"It's the safest place to do it," he told reporters from the edge of the cordoned area."We're not able to disassemble themto the point where we can completely take them apart."
EarlyFriday, the emergency task forcesealed off a large perimeteraroundOverleaBoulevard, Millwood Drive and Don Mills Road, as well asthe entire Thorncliffe Park Drive loop, as the bomb disposal unitsused a pair of remote-controlled robotstomove the devicesintothe trailer.
Investigators also searched a residence on Ashdale Avenue, which wascleared, police said.
Incidents believed linked
Warr saidinvestigators believe the three earlier incidents are linked to the devices found Friday — "they're similar" — and that the motive appears personal.
Two of the letters were sent to homes in Toronto, while another was sent to a residence in Guelph.
On the evening of Aug. 11, a man in the Victoria Park Avenue-Lawrence Avenue East areasustained injuries after an envelope he received at his home exploded in his hands.
Eight days later, a real estate lawyer found an envelope at his home in the Yonge Street-Sheppard Avenue West area. The package smelled like petroleum, so he notified police and it was safely detonated. Police said it was rigged to explode if opened.
On Aug. 22, aself-employed home renovator found a Canada Post Xpresspost envelope at the rear of his Guelph home, but didn't open it and called police. Media reports said the letter was detonated at the scene and contained enough explosive to take the man's head off had it exploded.
Similar packages mailed to addresses in Toronto and Guelph did not explode, authorities have said.
Adel Arnaout, 37, of Toronto, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of intending to cause an explosion, and possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose, police said.He was scheduled to appear Fridayin a Toronto court.