A Muslim youth who became police informer in what is described as Canada's first Al-Qaeda-linked terror plot told a court on Friday that he was picked up by the country's spy agency in 2005 to infiltrate the alleged terror cell.
In a major operation in June 2006, the police had unearthed what later came to be known as Toronto-18 terror plot - because of the alleged involvement of 18 Al-Qaeda-linked persons to it.
The 18 plotters had allegedly planned to blow up the commercial hub of Toronto, and storm the nation's parliament in Ottawa to take leaders hostage and behead the prime minister.
To carry out the plot, they had allegedly undergone training in use of firearms at a rural camp in northern Ontario in Dec 2005.
Of these 18, 10 are in jail and four on bail. The trial of three has been stayed.
The trial the 18th person is now under way.
Mubin Shaikh, who blew the cover on the alleged plot by infiltrating it at the behest of the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS), told the trial court Tuesday that by the time he infiltrated the alleged terror cell in Nov 2005, the plotters had already selected targets.
The plotters had also decided on using ammunition-laden truck bombs, instead of A-47s, to cause maximum destruction, he said.
He testified that the plotters soon spilled the beans after he infiltrated their group at an information session on security certificates (which are issued by the government for immigration proceedings for removal of non-Canadians from Canada) on Nov 27, 2005.
He said they quickly `recruited' him and told about their upcoming training camp.
Two days later, he said, the ringleader and his associate told him the targets of plot - power grids, offices of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Toronto, and parliament in Ottawa.
Because of his background in military training, the police informant told the court, the ringleader chose him to train the plotters in firearms at a rural camp.
"He (ringleader) stated to me his objectives, he listed his targets," he testified.
Since the CSIS and CBC offices are on that same Toronto street, the ringleader told him, ``Two birds with one bomb.''
The police informant also told the court that he twice went shopping for guns with the ringleader even as he kept informing the police about their daily activities.