A minor from Ottawa was arrested and charged with terrorist-related offences after allegedly planning to target Jewish people, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on Saturday.
According to the RCMP, the suspect was arrested on Friday and is alleged to have instructed someone directly or indirectly to carry out a terrorist activity against “Jewish persons.”
The suspect is also charged with “facilitation of a terrorist activity by communicating instructional material related to an explosive substance,” according to the report.
Due to the suspect’s age, the release of further information about him has been prevented.
The Canadian Global News site cited a “senior national security source” as saying that a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) team was dispatched to the scene of the arrest. Another national security source told the news site that the plot appeared to have been religiously motivated.
‘A staggering development of unchecked antisemitism in Canada’
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, called the reported arrest “a staggering development of what unchecked antisemitism has become in our country,” in a post on X on Saturday.
Since #October7, the Jewish community has been raising our extreme concerns about the frightening rise in antisemitic incitement and hatred in #Canada ⁰⁰This is a staggering development of what unchecked #Antisemitism has become in our country. It is also particularly… pic.twitter.com/2bxwd0pny6
— CIJA (@CIJAinfo) December 16, 2023
“Since October 7, the Jewish community has been raising our extreme concerns about the frightening rise in antisemitic incitement and hatred in Canada,” wrote CIJA. “It is also particularly concerning given what happened in Europe earlier this week, where several individuals were arrested across multiple countries and charged with plotting attacks against Jewish institutions.”
“We are thankful that law enforcement was able to foil the threat & that no one was hurt. However, the ongoing threat to our community remains very real.”
Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe expressed shock at the reported arrest, saying “There has been a rise in antisemitism in Ottawa in recent weeks. I’m grateful and relieved that in this case, through strong investigative work, the RCMP and the Ottawa Police were able to avert this planned event before it happened. The Ottawa Police Service will continue to patrol synagogues and other Jewish institutions.”
I was shocked to learn the details of a planned attack against Ottawa’s Jewish community. J’ai été choqué d’apprendre les détails d’une attaque planifiée contre la communauté juive d’Ottawa. There has been a rise in anti-semitism in Ottawa in recent weeks. I’m grateful and…
— Mark Sutcliffe (@_MarkSutcliffe) December 16, 2023
“There is no place for any hatred, racism, or violence in our community. We must continue to work together and do everything possible to ensure our city is safe for everyone,” added Sutcliffe.
Similarly to Jewish communities in much of the world, Jewish communities in Canada have been affected by a spike in antisemitic attacks since the October 7 massacre in southern Israel.
In Toronto, for example, from October 7 to November 20, 78 acts of hate were reported against the Jewish community, according to CBC. Israel’s Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemitism Ministry reported a tripling of antisemitic hate crimes in Toronto as well.