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Mounties Thwart Plot To Bomb Canada Day Celebration In Victoria

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Police in British Columbia Tuesday announced that they foiled a terrorist plot to bomb Monday's Canada Day celebration in Victoria.

Photos released by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police show three unexploded pressure cooker bombs filled with rusty nails, nuts and bolts. The devices resemble those used in the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, but Canadian police say the two attacks are not connected.

Assistant Commissioner Wayne Rideout says officers arrested a man and a woman believed responsible for the plot. He described them as Canadian-born citizens inspired by "al-Qaida ideology."

"This self-radicalized behavior was intended to create maximum impact and harm to Canadian citizens at the B.C. Legislature on a national holiday," Rideout says. "They took steps to educate themselves and to produce devices designed to cause injury and death."

Rideout told a news conference broadcast by the CBC that the alleged plotters have been under surveillance since February. He assured Canadians that the bombs planted in Victoria were inert, but declined to explain how undercover detectives were able to arrange that.

The thousands of people who gathered around Victoria's Inner Harbor Monday to celebrate their national holiday were unaware of the unfolding police bust.

On the Web:

RCMP statement and photos - Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.