Canadian cops charge minor with terror offense after security raids

Two RCMP officers outside a house where police raided and arrested two people in Kingston Ont. on Jan. 24

Two RCMP officers outside a house where police raided and arrested two people in Kingston Ont. on Jan. 24

Few details are known about who was arrested or what sparked the investigation.

"As long-standing law enforcement partners, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the RCMP routinely work together and share information on matters of national security to keep our citizens safe". Video and photographs from the scene showed officers removing boxes of evidence from the properties. While an attack was considered imminent, the officer said there was no credible threat to the people of Kingston.

The effort included a small RCMP surveillance plane, whose circling over Kingston has puzzled, and sometimes annoyed, residents for weeks.

"Earlier today, RCMP & partners took action in Kingston, based on credible information, to ensure public safety", Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter.

On Friday morning, there was a police blockade with multiple cruisers parked in front of a house in Kingston where the two suspects were arrested the day before following raids on two homes in the eastern Ontario city.

She said a man not known to the family had recently met her brother and his friend, approaching them near their high school and inviting them to do some computer programming for him.

"We did remove that substance from the residence and we did detonate that substance".

Bronek Korczynski, a church member who sponsored the Alzahabi family, said he worries about the way the arrests will shape perceptions of Muslims and refugees in Canada.

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In an interview with the CBC following the arrests, Alzahabi's father, Amin Alzahabi, said his son would not "do anything against any human, humanity". His father confirmed to the Canadian Press that Alzahabi was arrested on Thursday night.

We're just gobsmacked by this. The family, originally from Syria, came to Canada as privately sponsored refugees, according to a pastor at one of the churches who sponsored them.

"This is just a real body blow", he said.

"I want to reassure the citizens of the greater Kingston, Ont., area and all Canadians that during the investigation, our primary focus was the safety and protection of the public", said Michael LeSage, a chief superintendent with the RCMP's "O" Division.

Alzahabi said he and his family came to Canada to be "liberated" and to avoid being sent back to Syria - which is still in the throes of a multi-year bloody civil war - by the Kuwaiti government.

"It was very much an opportunity to say, 'What can the community do to make sure that this doesn't become an incident that unjustifiably targets any ethnic group, national group, religious group?'" Korczynski said. "Canadians can be confident that whenever credible information is obtained about a potential threat, the RCMP, CSIS and other police and security agencies take the appropriate steps to ensure the security of this country and the safety of its citizens".

Goodale said the country's official threat level remains at "medium", where it has stood since the autumn of 2014.

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