Ottawa man charged with tweeting threats, terrorist hoaxes against Parliament Hill, embassies

Parliament Hill's Peace Tower is framed in an iron fence in March 2020. It's one of four places or departments allegedly targeted in a series of Twitter threats and hoaxes in November 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Parliament Hill's Peace Tower is framed in an iron fence in March 2020. It's one of four places or departments allegedly targeted in a series of Twitter threats and hoaxes in November 2022. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A specialized police team has arrested a 19-year-old Ottawa man, alleging he threatened Parliament Hill, a federal department and two embassies in November.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a Tuesday news release an Integrated National Security Enforcement Team learned of Twitter threats Nov. 8 against the Hill, the Department of National Defence and the American and Chinese embassies.

He has been charged with four counts each of conveying a terrorist hoax, several counts of threatening death or bodily harm to members of Parliament and staff at embassies, and threatening to burn, destroy and damage property.

According to court documents obtained by CBC, the man was arrested two days after the alleged threats on Twitter — on Nov. 10.

The man allegedly threatened to "burn, destroy and damage" several properties with explosives and "jet fuel and one match," according to a signed police declaration submitted to the court in December.

He was asked to appear in court that month, and was released on conditions that he not communicate with employees or staff at Parliament, and the U.S. and Chinese embassies. He is also banned from being within 50 metres of Parliament Hill grounds, and is not allowed to go to the two embassies or the homes of any staff of those entities. He is banned from possessing firearms or other weapons, according to court documents.

The accused is scheduled to appear back in court on Jan. 18.

The team that led the investigation and arrest is made up of RCMP, provincial and local police and federal agencies, with the goal of collecting and analyzing information about extremist and national security threats.