He was opinionated, political, loyal and loved to express himself through music.
That thin profile has come to light about terror suspect John Nuttall since he was arrested for allegedly plotting to detonate explosives at the B.C. legislature on Canada Day.
Nuttall and his co-accused, girlfriend Amanda Korody, were arrested on Monday and later described by RCMP investigators as "self-radicalized" extremists who were inspired by al Qaeda to try to inflict massive casualties in Victoria, B.C.
As Canada comes to grips with its latest alleged close brush with terrorism – at the hands of Canadian-born suspects – the question of "who" comes top of mind.
Who are these suspects and what could have motivated them to plan such a thing?
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Nuttall and Korody were both residents of Surrey, B.C., where they shared a basement apartment. Landlord Shanti Thaman told the Vancouver Sun they were recovering drug addicts who appeared to be living off of social assistance.
According to Thaman, the pair has recently converted to Islam and could be heard listening to radical Islamist tapes in their apartment.
A neighbour recently reported hearing Nuttall screaming into a phone about jihad.
Lawyer Tom Morino, who represented Nuttall when he was charged with assault in 2003, said his client converted to Islam a few years ago, although he didn't appear to be connected to a particular mosque.
An old friend, meantime, connected Nuttall more with civil disobedience than extremism.
Stefano Pasta described Nuttall as a "solid guy" who would take a bullet for a friend.
The pair previously played in a punk band together, according to CBC News, and that he was opinionated and political who like to sing about anarchy.
In a profile linked to Nuttall on Reverbnation, a social media site for musicians, a smiling Nuttall can be seen clutching four guitars. Four dark, heavy songs are posted on the page, featuring titles such as "In League with Satan" and "The End of the World."
Less is known about the 30-year-old Korody. She was described by reporters who attended Tuesday's bail hearing as a short woman who appeared "twitchy." She does not appear to have a prior criminal record.
[ More Brew: Two arrested in alleged Canada Day terror plot ]
Nuttall and Korody have both been charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity, possession of an explosive substance and conspiring to commit an indictable offence.
While investigators were unable to provide details of their alleged motivation, they said the attack was "inspired by al Qaeda ideology." It was unclear whether that alluded to al Qaeda's Islamic extremism or the process by which its agents inflicted mass casualties.
The devices designed in the B.C. plot were a similar make to those used in the recent Boston Marathon bombing - with pressure cookers used as the skeleton of the bombs.
“This self-radicalized behaviour was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the B.C. legislature on a national holiday,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout told reporters on Tuesday. “They took steps to educate themselves and produce explosive devices designed to cause injury and death.”
Several security experts have pointed to an al Qaeda online magazine, which recently published instructions on how to build pressure cooker bombs. That publication was also linked to April’s Boston bombing, which killed three people and injured hundreds more.
Terrorism experts opined that the B.C. suspects may have been motivated more by a desire to do harm than an actual affiliation to al Qaeda, suggesting the extremist group was simple the vehicle through which the disenfranchised now choose to express themselves.
“This tells us that al Qaeda is the new power ideology and that’s the agenda you act out on now,” John Thompson, vice president with Strategic Capital Intelligence Group, told CTV News.
“The jihad movement is on a roll. And it’s attracting people who are very peripheral to it and inspiring them to violence.”
Nuttall and Korody, meantime, are expected to return to court on July 9.
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