Bomb plot targeted Montreal subway, U.S. embassy in 2004, WikiLeaks cable shows
The RCMP believed that a man linked to Osama bin Laden was planning to bomb Montreal’s subway system in late 2004, then detonate another device at Ottawa’s U.S. embassy weeks later, according to a secret cable released by WikiLeaks this week.
According to the cable, the RCMP put the Tunisian man under 24-hour surveillance and were preparing to arrest him after the force received a letter from someone claiming to have overhead details of the bomb plot.
The then-28-year-old man, whose name was not in the cable, was working as a car wash attendant and part-time security officer, the cable said.
As his name did not come up in any police databases and he had no known criminal history, the American embassy wrote that the RCMP doubted the threat was real, but took precautions nonetheless. Security was increased around U.S. government buildings in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Quebec City and Ottawa.
No attacks were ever carried out.
"RCMP stated such letters are received frequently and, although serious, doubt this particular threat to be credible," the cable reads.
The embassy did note in its cable that “few letters are received specifically mentioning the bombing of the U.S. embassy.”
In the cable, the U.S. embassy in Ottawa said it was told about the bomb threat on Dec. 3, 2004, five days after the RCMP received a tip about the plot. The alleged bomb plots were supposed to take place in Montreal on Dec. 15 and in Ottawa on Jan. 10, 2005.
The embassy, the cable said, “inquired as to why the RCMP waited several days before providing such information. RCMP were unable or unwilling to respond but the indication seemed to be they were proceeding appropriately.”
Had the RCMP arrested the man, the U.S. embassy said in its missive that it was going to ask to take part in any interrogation.
The cable also said that the Tunisian man had come to Canada in 2000 and applied for Canadian citizenship.
"RCMP indicated his pending immigration file would be denied, but would not provide detail," the cable said.
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