A police officer carries evidence after RCMP raided a house and arrested two people in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday Jan. 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

A police officer carries evidence after RCMP raided a house and arrested two people in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday Jan. 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Crown seeks life sentence for youth in terrorism case

The teen, who cannot be publicly identified, pleaded guilty to possessing explosive material and counselling someone to detonate a bomb

The Crown is seeking a life sentence for a teenager who pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges including possession of explosive material and counselling someone to detonate a bomb.

The youth admitted to the charges, as well as violating his bail conditions, last July in the Ontario Court of Justice.

He cannot be publicly identified under terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

During a hearing Wednesday, the Crown asked that the teenager be sentenced as an adult.

The Kingston, Ont., teen’s lawyer, Sean Ellacott, said a youth sentence of three years would be sufficient to hold him accountable.

Justice Elaine Deluzio plans to hear from several witnesses at a series of hearings this month to help determine a sentence.

In January 2019, the RCMP arrested the youth, who was 16 at the time, following a probe initiated by a tip from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kingston police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Canada Border Services Agency and the federal agency that tracks suspicious financial activities also assisted.

According to an agreed statement of facts, the teen unwittingly communicated with an FBI undercover agent he believed to be a “lone wolf” terrorist in Virginia who needed support.

The youth sent the agent instructions on how to build a pressure-cooker bomb and encouraged him to plant it in a public place, such as a bar, to kill “enemies of Allah.”

In the end, no explosive device was planted. But a search of the youth’s home turned up all the materials needed to create an explosive device.

The youth pleaded guilty last summer to facilitating a terrorist activity, possession of an explosive substance with intent to injure or kill, taking action to cause an explosion and counselling another person to detonate an explosive device to cause injury or death.

He also admitted to breaching his bail conditions for failing to wear a monitoring bracelet. The youth has been in custody since April 2019.

During the hearing Wednesday, Ellacott stressed the progress his client had made under challenging circumstances, including violence at the hands of other inmates.

Youth probation officer Rhonda McCall said the teen was “goal-oriented” and “working toward his future” by pursuing his education while in custody.

In cross-examining McCall, Crown attorney Tim Radcliffe highlighted “red flags,” suggesting the youth had deflected responsibility for his serious actions, placing his family and others at risk by working with explosive materials at home.

Radcliffe also noted the young person did not want his parents to attend regular case-management meetings.

Ellacott downplayed the notion of a rift, saying his client spoke to his parents by phone as often as twice daily.

McCall said that at one point she had asked the youth if he was ever worried about blowing his family “sky high.”

“His answer was, ‘I was in complete control,” she said.

“He definitely loves his family.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

crimeTerrorism

Just Posted

Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout, seen here in McLeod Athletic Park in Langley in 2019, has just qualified for several top international competitions, including the Olympic trials. (Photo courtesy Vid Wadhwani)
VIDEO: With one jump, Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout has qualified for three international competitions

Maple Ridge resident records new personal best at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley

Maple Ridge’s Eileen Robinson celebrated international Trails Day by hitting the Trans-Canada Trail in her hometown. It’s marked on the first Saturday of June, and encourages people to get out and use and enjoy their local trails, which both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have many. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Celebrating Trails Day by getting outdoors

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Shail Wolf admires the ancient tree the protesters have dubbed the grandmother. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
OUR VIEWS: Old-growth can kicked down the road

Latest deferral avoids a difficult conversation about how, when to stop logging our oldest forests

Maple Ridge brothers Paul and Johnnie Walker hit the trails at Rolley Lake, just across the border into Mission. Johnnie did the modelling both with the downed tree and at the waterfalls.(Special to The News)
SHARE: Discovering fun on Rolley trails

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read