Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Islamic terrorist may have wanted to behead the Canadian prime minister

Cameron French:

One of 17 men accused of plotting bombings in major Canadian cities and of training militants also faces an allegation that he sought to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Steven Chand, 25, was among 15 members of the alleged terrorist ring who appeared in a heavily guarded courtroom north of Toronto to set dates for bail hearings.

The Muslim men, five of them under the age of 18, were arrested on Friday in Canada's largest counterterrorism operation, and police said more arrests are possible.

Chand's lawyer, Gary Batasar, said his client faced several serious charges and was concerned that intense media interest in the details of the case in Canada and the United States could jeopardize Chand's chances of a fair trial.

Allegations include plans for the "storming and bombing of various buildings," Batasar told reporters.

"There's an allegation apparently that my client personally indicated that he wanted to behead the prime minister of Canada," Batasar said.

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