x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Canadian teenagers tried to use Christmas lights to make bomb

A handwritten bomb-making recipe copied from anAl Qaeda propaganda magazine was found in the home rented by El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane

A young Montreal couple tried to use Christmas lights and sandpaper to make a homemade bomb, a Canadian court heard in opening statements in the terrorism trial of two former college students.

The lights, sandpaper and a handwritten bomb-making recipe copied from a propaganda magazine published by Al Qaeda militants were found after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) searched a condominium rented by El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane in 2015, prosecutor Lyne Decarie said in the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal.

It is not clear how the lights would have been used to make a bomb.

Jamali, 20, and Djermane, 21, have pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to leave Canada to join a terrorist group, possessing an explosive substance, facilitating a terrorist activity, and committing an offence for a terrorist group.

The arrest of the couple in 2015, when they were still teenagers, came at a time when international security forces were reporting that waves of young people, including college students from Montreal, were heading to Syria to join ISIL militants.

Investigators found other materials, jihadist propaganda and evidence that the couple had watched a video by a Canadian ISIL fighter. New luggage and clothes, along with passport applications were discovered during the search.

After re-stating their not guilty pleas, the couple listened to the prosecution's opening statements from a high-security prisoners' box that was enclosed in thick glass.

The RCMP began investigating the couple after receiving a tip-off, Ms Decarie said, and arrested them days later. The prosecutor said she would be calling family and friends of the accused couple as well as police experts in terrorism and explosives as witnesses in the trial, which is expected to last 10 weeks.