RCMP arrest two following raids in Kingston

Cheryl Sanders
January 27, 2019

Police officer carry evidence after RCMP officer raided a house and arrested two people in Kingston, Ontario, on Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.

The youth is charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity and with counselling someone to use an explosive or other lethal device to cause death or serious bodily injury.

"From the initial information, it was a substantiated and credible attack plot, however, there was no indication where the attack was to take place; there was no specific targeting or time associated with it", Lambertucci said.

The massive investigation included 300 officers, he said, from seven agencies including local police and FBI officers with support from the OPP, Canada Border Services Agency, the CSIS and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Amin Alzahabi, the father of Hussam Eddin Alzahabi, 20, said Thursday his son had been arrested but not charged.

Alzahabi told the Star's Alex Ballingall on Friday afternoon that the police were now at their home, and that they "want to talk to us about Hussam". Alzahabi's father told CBC News that police have now released his son.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has stated official threat level remains at "medium".

Goodale said the operation has not changed the country's threat level. "(Investigators) thought I am encouraging (the accused) to do some things like that but I said to (the accused) and I tried to prevent... stuff like that, it's not good, it doesn't give any benefit for you".

Kingston police and RCMP met with Korczynski and other community leaders on Friday morning to provide them with information on the case. The released man and his family came to Canada as refugees after being privately sponsored by a group of churches in Kingston about two years ago.

Four churches came together to sponsor the family in 2017 and a spokesman for the sponsorship committee said he was blindsided by Alzahabi's arrest.

"Even though our sponsorship ended last July, many of us in the group have maintained relationships with the family - meaningful relationships - and this is just a real body blow", he said.

The prime suspect - a friend of Alzahabi - who has been charged with numerous terrorist offenses can not be named because of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act that prohibits the naming of an accused under the age of 18. "We're just gobsmacked by this".

For weeks, Kingston residents have been buzzing about a mysterious plane that was seen circling the city.

While it remains unclear if the alleged explosive device was meant to be used in Canada, the US or at all, Elcock said that the December FBI tip signified "that there was some contact across the border" involving the suspect. "It's so out of whack with the family we've come to know and care for".

"It was very much an opportunity to say, 'What can the community do to make sure that this doesn't become an incident that unjustifiably targets any ethnic group, national group, religious group?' " he said.

Korczynski said the younger Alzahabi had both a younger and older sibling.

"There's some accusation that I'm working with some terrorist, terrorism group".

They posted the same statement on Twitter.

"It is also clear that Canada's refugee screening process needs to be seriously examined", Scheer said. The agency acknowledged the error but said a review afterward found that none of the 39 people was inadmissible.

Other reports by iNewsToday