A neighbour of a Surrey man and a woman charged with terrorism-related offences this week called the police some time ago after hearing the man threatening to blow things up.
On Monday, at about 2 p.m., B.C. RCMP arrested John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody in Abbotsford after a five-month investigation that began in February.
It’s believed the pair was planning to set off bombs at the legislature in Victoria during the Canada Day celebrations on July 1.
Nuttal and Korody lived in a basement suite in a home in the 9700-block of 120 Street. Neighbours say Nuttall seemed unstable.
“I reported him once,” said Charlene Thompson. “He was wandering up and down the street in the middle of the night, like 2 o’clock in the morning, yelling into his cellphone about blowing things up… saying he was prepared to do whatever he had to do to get to the afterlife.”
The police came, she said, and that was the last they heard of it.
A few weeks ago, a moving van left parked by the suite was believed to be leaking dangerous gases, but was later determined to be benign.
The neighbouring homes were evacuated for a day while police investigated.
The pair’s landlord – who did not want his name published – said Nuttall and Korody were a very nice couple when they moved in two to three years ago.
During their entire time at the home, their furnishings were extremely sparce, the landlord said.
When they began renting the unit, they were not Muslim, he added. That was something they took up later.
They were devout, he said, noting there were
daily prayers and frequent visits to a mosque, with him growing a long beard and her often wearing a burka, a full body cloak worn by some Muslim women.
While they seemed pleasant, the landlord felt they may have had some mental challenges, and that Nuttall seemed to have trouble walking.
The landlord often heard them listening to Muslim tapes and videos.
He described Nuttall as extremely timid.
When the landlord heard a pellet gun being fired from the suite, he went down and asked, “John, what are you doing?”
To that, Nuttall cowered, saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” promising never to do it again.
“They’re scared from us, they’re scared from anyone,” the landlord’s wife told The Leader.
The recent charges are Korody’s first run-in with the courts.
However, Nuttall has a lengthy criminal record, including possession of a weapon, assault and mischief in 2009 in Victoria, and a May 2, 2002 robbery conviction, also in Victoria.
This is the first time he’s been charged with an offence in Surrey.
Mayor Dianne Watts said Tuesday the pair moved around the region quite fluidly, from Delta, to Vancouver to Surrey.
She couldn’t say whether the pair had substance abuse issues.
“I can’t confirm that. I know that they had significant challenges in their life,” Watts said.
She also understands they gathered much of their information about what they were doing from the Internet.
Watt believes it wasn’t a highly developed plan.
“I think they’re fairly unsophisticated,” Watts said.
Nuttal and Korody made a brief appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on Tuesday. Their next appearance is scheduled for July 9.