Kingston teen pleads guilty to 4 terrorism charges in relation to alleged bomb plot

·2 min read

A Kingston, Ont. teenager has pleaded guilty to four terrorism-related offences stemming from what police say was a thwarted bomb attack in early 2019.

The minor, who can't be named due to a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged in January 2019 after multiple searches were conducted on two homes in the Ontario city, about two hours from the nation's capital, following a tip from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in late December 2018.

The accused was charged with knowingly facilitating terrorist activity, making or possessing explosive materials, taking action "with intent to cause an explosion of an explosive substance that is likely to cause serious bodily harm or death to persons or is likely to cause serious damage to property" and counselling someone else to place or detonate an explosive or other lethal device to cause death or serious bodily injury.

The teen, who was 16 at the time, was inspired by the Islamic State and said he wanted to become a "martyr," according to an agreed statement of facts read aloud by the Crown today in court.

But his plan — which involved a pressure cooker bomb — was foiled by an undercover informant working for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation who tipped off the RCMP.

The teen unwittingly thought he was talking to a "lone wolf," and sent the agent a Power Point presentation with detailed instructions on how to build a successful pressure cooker bomb, according to the agreed statement, which was read in both English and Arabic.

The accused then counselled the undercover agent to build the device and place it in a public place, like a bar, in order to kill innocent people.

Crown wants teen sentenced as an adult

The court heard how the young person also made an explosive substance — triacetone triperoxide — with the goal of manufacturing an explosive device to place either in a public place or under a police or military vehicle.

The investigators who searched his home found all the materials needed to build an explosive device, said the statement.

The charges relate to the period from Dec. 20, 2018 to Jan. 24, 2019. On Jan. 25, 2019, the RCMP announced that a terrorist bomb plot had been stopped, but few of the details of the case had been made public until now.

Sentencing is expected at a later date. The Crown says it will seek an adult sentence.

Justice Elaine Deluzio ordered a psychiatric assessment before the case is back in court in September.

The teen also pleaded guilty to violating a bail condition related to wearing an ankle monitor.