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Monday, December 7, 2015

Were Halifax Couple Planning a San Bernardino-like Attack?

Search of Nova Scotia man’s home yields a cache of illegal weapons
Posted by: Ilana Shneider  CIJ News

According to a November 23 RCMP news release, on November 20 RCMP officers with the Integrated General Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigations Divisions arrested Samir Dib Elias, 33, after conducting a search of his Halifax home. As a result of the search, officers seized a 9mm handgun, two semi-automatic rifles, 28 prohibited magazines for the weapons with over 500 rounds of ammunition and a kevlar vest.

According to the Herald News, the search was conducted after RCMP obtained a warrant following threats Elias made against a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer Todd Houston demanding the return of $15,000 in cash which Houston seized from Elias’ wife on her return from Lebanon on September 13. Elias’ wife claimed the cash belonged to Elias which he received after the sale of his deceased father’s house, but could not provide any documentation to back up her claim. When Houston asked Elias, who was waiting for his wife at the airport, about his father, Elias said his father was doing well.

Shortly after Houston seized the cash, Elias began calling CBSA repeatedly and demanding information on Houston’s whereabouts. He allegedly issued a 24 hour ultimatum to return the money and, according to RCMP Const. Colby Smith, made threats against Houston, including “throwing him in the dumpster”.

Elias was charged with a total of 35 criminal code offences including uttering threats, transfer of firearm without authority, intimidation of a justice system participant, two counts each of unsafe storage of firearms and 28 counts of possession of a prohibited item.

According to the documents filed at Halifax provincial court, Houston believed the money should be seized as “proceeds of crime to support terrorism,” and his supervisor agreed with this statement.

In other words, he suspected that Elias and his wife were planning on using the money to buy more weapons or materials to be used in a terrorist plot.

Elias is scheduled to appear at the Dartmouth provincial court on December 29 to enter a plea. RCMP say the investigation is still ongoing.

It is the third time in three weeks in which Canadian police seized a cache of illegal weapons. On December 4 in Toronto a police search of a car following a single-car crash during which the driver fled the scene, discovered a machine gun with a silencer and two handguns, one of which was equipped with a silencer. Some “religious materials” were also found inside the abandoned vehicle, but Police did not provide any further information about their nature, and said that these materials are “unrelated to the investigation”.

If those 'religious materials' were Islamic, it would be naive, if not moronic, to say they are unrelated to the investigation. 

Earlier on November 20, the Police arrested in Toronto and Vaughan nine suspects and seized guns, drugs, and cash. The firearms included two 9 mm automatic Sterling MK4 sub-machine guns, a Zustava Arms, Scorpion M84 sub-machine gun, a Para-Ordnance P10 .45 calibre pistol, a Para-Ordnance P45 .45 calibre pistol, a Springfield armoury .40 calibre pistol with silencer and numerous rounds of ammunition of various types (.45 calibre, 9 mm and .40 calibre). (See photo at top). Note: All nine arrested in Vaughan were orientals, not Muslims. This was likely drug-gang related, not terrorism.

Last month, a total of 86 long rifles, 22 handguns and over 8,000 rounds of ammunition were turned in during the Toronto Police two-week gun amnesty that ended on November 16. In 2014, 27 firearms were reported stolen in Toronto.