More terrorism charges for youth accused of targeting Jewish community

The RCMP logo is seen on the shoulder of a superintendent during a news conference, Saturday, June 24, 2023 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld © ajw

A youth arrested on terrorism allegations in Ottawa Friday is facing three new charges, including the possession of explosives.

The 15-year-old was arrested late Friday evening by the RCMP in Ottawa. Sources told Global News Friday that the youth was suspected of having explosive materials, and a specialized explosives team was on scene at the time of his arrest.

The RCMP said the target of the alleged plot was the Jewish community.

The youth has been charged with “facilitating” a terrorist activity by spreading “instructional material” about building bombs, and “knowingly instructing” someone to carry out a terrorist attack. The charges have not yet been tested in court.

In a brief court appearance Monday, Crown attorneys added three new charges: another charge of facilitating terrorist activity, possession of explosives and making or possessing an explosive substance.

The youth will remain in custody ahead of another court appearance on Wednesday.

Outside the courthouse on Saturday, the youth’s father – whom Global cannot identify, due to the accused’s age – told Global that his son had been becoming “more religious” and he had told him to stay away from “extremist people.”

“There are some people taking advantage of him,” he said.

“They are bad. They are not religious. They use religion. They use religion to achieve their goals, you know, their personal goals, private goals.”

Global News later reported that a Facebook account matching the name of the father included derogatory messages about Jews and Israelis on Facebook in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in Israel. The father did not confirm the posts were his when asked to comment by Global News.

The RCMP said the youth’s arrest was part of a “concerning trend” in Canadian minors being radicalized to violence. The national police force said they have arrested five youths on charges of terrorism over the past six months, including a 16-year-old in Calgary last week.

“We’re asking adults in positions of authority to be alert for behaviors of concern which may be linked to violent extremism,” the RCMP said in a statement.

Source: Global News