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Terrorism charges possible in bank firebombing: police


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CTV Toronto: G20 showdown comes closer
In recent weeks, both police and protesters say they are getting ready for next month's G20 Summit in Toronto. John Musselman reports.
CTV National News: Lisa LaFlamme on the threats
Financial institutions across Canada are reviewing their security after an Ottawa bank was damaged in a firebombing. A group of self-described anarchists claimed responsibility and said it's just a taste of what's to come at the G20 summit in Toronto next month.
CTV News: Daniele Hamamdjian on the firebombing
A trendy Ottawa neighbourhood became the setting for the firebombing of an RBC bank branch on Tuesday. An anarchist group has laid claim to the attack, promising to be present at the upcoming G8/G20 summits.
CTV Toronto: Naomi Parness on a warning for T.O.
The attack has some concerned about security during the G20 summit next month. Toronto police say they are ready and will protect the city. Naomi Parness with what the anarchists are saying about what's to come.
CTV Ottawa: Kate Eggins on the attack
Investigators are now sifting through what's left of an Ottawa RBC bank following a firebombing that an anarchist group has claimed responsibility for.
CTV Ottawa: Vanessa Lee on the video
The video showing the firebomb attack on an Ottawa RBC bank branch may not be of the highest quality, but the fact that it was posted on the internet could end up leading to the capture of those responsible.
CTV British Columbia: Mike Killeen on the fears
A firebombing in Ottawa raises questions about home-grown terrorism in the wake of the Vancouver Olympics.
Anarchist video of the RBC firebombing
A video posted online around noon Tuesday shows two people inside the bank. Soon after, a man leaves through the side door as flames flash at the front of the building. Video of the bombing is followed by a long, wordy message.
CTV News Channel: Peter Van Loan, trade minister
The international trade minister spoke with international reporters, responding to questions about a firebomb in Ottawa, allegedly done by a group threatening more of the same during the G20.
CTV News Channel: Michel Juneau-Katsuya, expert
A former senior intelligence officer with CSIS and security expert, says anarchist groups do pop in Canada even though they are not common, and are trying to communicate their political ideology.
CTV News Channel: Rob Moore, minister of state
The minister of state for small business and tourism discusses the security for the G20 meeting in Toronto, and reassures international media it will be safe despite a recent firebombing in Ottawa.

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I can only say sad very sad. These people who are doing this have had all of the chances the rest of us have had and yet the only thing they want to do is to destroy and cause mayhem. I just hope the Police can find out who they are and that they face the full weight of the justice system.


Anarchists claim responsibility for Ottawa firebombing

talking about
Terrorism charges possible in bank firebombing: police News Staff

Date: Wed. May. 19 2010 9:46 PM ET

Terrorism charges may be levelled against those responsible for the firebombing of an RBC bank branch in Ottawa once investigators determine the motivation behind the attack, police said Wednesday.

An anarchist group claimed responsibility for the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of Tuesday morning, moments after witnesses saw a group of three or four men fleeing from the scene in Ottawa's trendy Glebe neighbourhood.

Within hours, a video was posted online that showed shadowy figures inside the bank's foyer at about 3:30 a.m. on the morning of the blaze. As the two people dash out the door, a wall of flames flashes inside the bank.

The video is accompanied by a scrolling text message that blames the Royal Bank of Canada for sponsoring the recent Winter Olympics and investing in the Alberta oilsands.

It is credited to "FFFC – Ottawa," a group that promises to be present at the upcoming G8/G20 meetings being held in Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto.

The group claims it will "pass the torch to all those who would resist the trampling of native rights, of the rights of us all, and resist the ongoing destruction of our planet."

Acting inspector Don Sweet of the Ottawa police told CTV's Power Play Wednesday that for now, authorities are conducting an arson investigation into the blaze.

But when asked why the attack is not being investigated as an act of terrorism, Sweet said the investigation could very well head in that direction.

"When we get further at the intent, or if we can get to that, that's when we may expand this and look at other criminal charges when we get to that point in the investigation," Sweet said.

"Clearly based on the target that was hit, the posting that was put out there, the other information we're working on, we are looking towards that part of it. But at the time right now we are in an arson investigation and when we get to that next level, if we do, then we will expand it to include other charges if applicable."

Police will look for and read through any communication between the individuals involved in the attack to determine their motivation.

If they were acting out in anger against the bank, then that is arson, said security expert Tom Quiggin, of the Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies.

"If, however, their intent is to create a larger atmosphere of fear and intimidation, in it attempts to change what the policy makers think at the G20 or the G8 conference, or to change the direction that the Royal Bank is taking, then that rises to the level of terrorism," Quiggin told Power Play.

Immediately considered to be suspicious, the fire did $300,000 damage to the bank branch that will now be closed for at least a week. Sweet would not comment specifically on whether investigators have identified any suspects in the case. However, the attack remains under investigation by Ottawa police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP, he said.

The Royal Bank of Canada said it is considering ramping up security in the wake of the incident.

The Canadian Bankers Association said the incident at the Ottawa RBC branch has put its members on alert, but security plans are already in place for next month's G8/G20 meetings.

Anarchist groups hard to peg

Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former senior intelligence officer with CSIS, told CTV Toronto that the group responsible for the Ottawa bombing is part of a "really small set of groups or people that basically attend demonstrations and cause trouble and cause confrontation."

According to Quiggin, the group may have targeted the bank for a number of reasons in addition to its sponsorship of the Olympics and the torch run.

While Canadian banks have largely emerged from the global financial crisis with their reputations intact, "banks are at the top of the hate list for a lot of international groups: anti-capitalist groups, anti-poverty groups, anti-globalization groups, anti-imperialist groups. All of them are focusing on the role of banks and the role of the international economy. So it puts them at the top of the hit list."

Many protest groups are non-violent in their calls for change -- such as better environmental safeguards, improved financial regulations and increases in development aid -- and so they can often by negotiated with, Quiggin said.

"However, the core group that was behind these kinds of attacks are largely anarchists, and their ambition, if you will, is to smash the state. They want to destroy hierarchical governments and replace them with a government where there's collective decision-making and decentralize power," he said.

"So there's nothing that can be done to placate them directly."

Unlike highly organized terror groups, anarchists are usually poorly organized, devoid of strong leadership and therefore fail to make significant impacts with their protests, Quiggin said.

But that lack of structure makes it hard for police to identify members and turn them against each other.

"So it's sort of a win-lose thing for them," Quiggin said. "The strength is they're harder to track and harder to arrest, the weakness is it's harder to be effective when you're like that."

With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman

Comments are now closed for this story

Mark in TO

This is why we have terrorism laws, it's not just the Islamists that want to hurt people. I hope they catch these guys and book them on terrorism charges. It's going to be very amusing when these anarchists are brought before civilized justice with their court appointed attorney, lets see them denounce democracy then.


Does anyone now have any inkling as to why some groups are so opposed to cameras in the G8/G20 security zones? Could it be that some people may be seen doing illegal acts and (gasp) held to account - at least as far as anyone is held to account under our system - no couldn't be, right? Such an approach really could interfere with their rights to engage in terrorism - oops, I meant to say protest.


Zero casualties. Save the word "terrorists" for the real ones please, lets not debase the word and use on anyone some bank takes a dislike to. That being said..yeah , go arrest these guys. Even intending to do no harm, sooner or later they'll make a mistake and someone will die.


Although I too am sick to death of corrupt capitalist run establishment these people have no credibility as far as I'm concerned. They are a racist bigoted group who can't get their own agenda straight. The Vancouver sector of this group is just as lame. They just tore up Grandview Park and left signs claiming that non native shouldn't be using the park. Their disgusting intolerance is sad. They need to either 'get a life' or refocus their agenda to a positive non racist one. I'm Metis and feel that no human should think they have the right to own land regardless. As a mixed race person, I have little respect for people who hate other races and separate people by race for the purpose of politics.


I can only say sad very sad. These people who are doing this have had all of the chances the rest of us have had and yet the only thing they want to do is to destroy and cause mayhem. I just hope the Police can find out who they are and that they face the full weight of the justice system.


Why doesn't CTV label these people for what they are? These aren't anarchists! They are environmentalists!


These 'anarchists' are criminals and borderline terrorists and should be treated accordingly. I would hope that any legitimate activists and protesters would speak out strongly against the actions of these thugs and disassociate themselves promptly.


Anarchists in an SUV? hahah! So they torch a bank in Ottawa in May to protest Olympics in Vancouver which ended in February since it was held on Aboriginal land (like the rest of North America). What message does that provide? Beats me! These FFFFC kids really should stick to playing video games.

Jim - North Saanich, BC

One can only hope that the individuals responsible for this senseless act are caught and treated for what they really are - terrorists!


They are terrorists and should be treated as such.

SK Freedom Lover

And what do these 'anarchists' have to offer to our society - anarchy? Obviously they are children who haven't grown up yet. Albeit dangerous children.


False - Flag + Increased Security = Police State ..


Terrorist : a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells;yup terrorist they are.


Yes of course: the hysteria of imminent catastrophe gives those with the received wisdom cause to do anything.

Daniel From Toronto

These groups are just getting the banks and all the supporters pissed off. They should focus on discussing the issue publicly instead of bombing a bank.


This should get the public sympathetic to their cause. These people are idiots. The good news is that people this stupid who play with bombs and fire will probably just end up blowing themselves up. My question is this, if they are environmentalists, how do they figure that setting a building on fire is good for the environment?


Uh, isn't a group of anarchists an oxymoron?


Let's call it what it is, shall we? Its terrorism, pure and simple - and terrorism in support of a "cause" so convoluted that it defies description.Arrest and jail the lot, and no slap on the wrist because of their so-called "political " motives. All it would have taken in this instance is one lonely janitor in the back of the bank and these "anarchists" would be murderers.

Prof. Pye Chartt

Sure, "anarchists." They're likely just spoiled, unemployed, left-wing extremists who live in the basement of their parents' house...always mulling over ways to get attention and express their misguided political anger at the world. Hopefully the law will catch up with them, and issue the ultimate spanking. Childish intellectual midgets. Peaceful protest garners more respect and serious attention. Violence just confirms that the perpetrators are crazy criminal nut-bags who deserve disrespect and punishment.

Eduard Khil

about time someone had the guts to fight back against the banks. snaps for the anarchists


The definition of terrorism as per Webster's dictionary is "The systematic use of violence as a means to intimidate or coerce societies or governments."Based on that definition, I would classify them as terrorists, and treat them as such if/when caught. Arson is a dangerous act that could certainly have caused injury or death if anyone had the fire spread, or to a firefighter trying to combat the blaze.


Good job to the Federal government on again using agent provocateurs to help tighten security for their precious G20 global government summit. Just like in Montabello, QC... the "anarchists" are at it again. It's funny, these "anarchists" sound more like looney liberals... I'm an anarchist and one thing is for sure, there's no defined "anarchist ideals"... Looks like they've attempted to demonize all the groups who wish to protest at the G20 summit with the broad "anarchist" term. Again, pat on the back.


This group self-purports to be native in their video - why not report this description? Are we going to go down the same road as the US did for years in treating these crimes as simple criminal offences, rather than terrorist activities?

Rob NS

More Left wing extremists...They are homegrown terrorists, and should be delt with as such. Do they even consider the lives of the emergency service people that have to clean up there dangerous mess?


Eduard Khil's comment: best described as charming.

Retired in Burlington

The media uses names like "Anarchists " and " Terrorists " when they should be saying mindless bloody jerks who committed a crminal act. Find them - arrest them - and punish them to the full extent of the law. Zero Tolerance for these kind of crimes. Lets get tough with criminals.

Bertrude G

I highly doubt true protesters would go to these lengths. This sounds like the work of agent provacateurs. It's designed to discredit the anti-G20 movement by giving the police an excuse to be heavy handed during the summit.

Andy Hall

And when they are caught and tried and given a slap on the wrist it will cost taxpayers more money with nothing progressive accomplished. Whatever they chose to call themselves, they are criminally insane and the only way to protect communities from such unfortunates is to put them to sleep. But we think we are too noble, too nice to do that - while in reality we are very dumb

Valentin Erikson

A bunch of thugs who did this do not defend aboriginal rights. They are not anti-capitalists or enviromentalists. They are radical left-wing terrorists who cannot put their miserable lives together. I think it is important to arrest them, because they need to be severely punished.I love capitalism and freedom!


To Eduard: You congratulate them because they have the "courage" to get back at the banks. What if next they feel that Via Rail is deserving of the same type of fire bombing. Then maybe they decide that they don't like the fact that a particular hotel is on "stolen land". Next it's anyone who drives a GM because after all GM is greedy. Perhaps they think that a particular church is preaching the wrong message and should be taught a lesson. And so on. Where does it end, and how many people have to be killed before you idiots see that it's wrong. What would the anarchists do if there was no government. Who would protect them against those who hate anarchists and would do them harm.

Millicent Wendy

I doubt the Government of Canada will treat these guys as "easy" as they did the FLQ which was responsible for over 160 violent incidents which killed 8 people and injured many more, including the bombing of the Montreal Stock Exchange in 1969.These attacks culminated in 1970 with the October Crisis, in which British Trade Commissioner James Cross was kidnapped and Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte was murdered. Yet today after a little slap on the wrist and exile to Cuba. Terrorists Jacques Lanctot, Paul Rose and Louise Cossette-Trudel "Lanctot" now parade around the streets of Quebec freely while their victims remain very "dead".

Doug # BC

All I can suggest for "AthousandRaces" is another country to live in.We all have our problems with all kinds of governments,all kinds of issues,and all kinds of policies.So don't bother crying me a river of your own.Thankfully, most of us find legal,peacful means of expressing you anger,or working towards changing policy initiatives.There is NEVER a justification for violence and destruction against innocent citizens. These are likely the same morons who showed up at the Olympics.Several of them were from the USA.At least one was charged with being in possession of an illegal handgun.Soem of them MAY have political statements to make.MOST of them do not.They are little more than common tugs and criminals.Though they make it difficult for anyone to distinguish one from the other.They were also able to convince the BC Civil Liberties Association to turn a blind eye to one oth their destructive protests.A pitiful failure by the group that pretends to defend liberties. At the Olympics,we were lucky.We had decent security,to be sure.But to me,it was tens of thousands of people enjoying the Olympics that really sent these goons packing.The citizens wanted nothing to do with their rage.And since the thugs were greatly outnumbered on the streets,they crawled back under their rocks. Only cowards and thugs wear masks when making legitimat political statements.People with good causes,are proud to be associated with them. And finally,expect the same people who protested against the Olympics,to show up there too.Professional protestors,with nothing useful to contribute to society.I will watch the news durning these meetings.But I can almost guaranteee a couple of names very familiar to Vancouverites,will show up there too.

BlueBerry Pick'n

1. Funny how the mainstream media & ignorant people misuse the term 'anarchist'. Use the term correctly, it isn't synonymous with 'criminal thug' or 'terrorist'. An 'anarchist' is a specific socio-political term. Someone who blows things up & commits violent acts MIGHT ALSO be an anarchist, but they aren't acting *as an anarchist* because anarchism isn't about violence or crime.2. Peaceful demonstrators are of two minds about cameras in demonstration areas: a. those who don't want them are distressed about the potential *abuse of cameras* by police or private agencies. Someone protesting could lose their job, simply for being there.Its a civil & human right to be able to protest peacefully & assemble peacefully. b. people who do want cameras there, want them there to keep the peace AND to keep track of the police when they get all wound up. Put people in police riot gear, wind them up and tell them 'those peaceful protesters dancing over there to the music are *gonna riot* & watch how fast they lose perspective on their role in the situation.Don't believe me? then you're not paying attention.There are people 'agent provocateurs' who *get paid* to start enough behaviours so that cops can start beating on people.The cops aren't to blame, the folks who instruct & pay the agents provocateurs to create a bad climate & bad PR are responsible.That's why peaceful, responsible demonstrators are of two minds about cameras.Don't kid yourselves, there are always nuts in *every group*.But when military gear & millions of dollars are handed to police agencies & they're told "MAKE THOSE PROTESTERS GO AWAY IT MAKES FOR BAD PRESS TO HAVE PEOPLE DEMONSTRATING"... then, sometimes people lose perspective on who they serve.People protest for HUMAN RIGHTS, Respect & PEACE.

Dean in Abby

@Rick, Good one Rick. You're right. A group that takes responsibility for something must in fact have "leadership" in order to organise itself to act. Therefore, how can this be anarchists?


Need more PsyOps.


We are not immune to terrorism...we are guilty of living in our little bubble here in Canada as most of the hate and acts of terror are seemingly aimed at our neighbors to the south. We must remain vigilant, for however many of us may disagree with American foreign policy and/or feel empathy to the citizens of countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan, the extremists that which to do the West harm include Canada.Stand on guard for thee begins to take on a somewhat different meaning. Yes, anti terror laws have a purpose like them or not. Civil libertarians are just as likely to get blown to pieces in a bombing as a moderate right wing tax payer. We are all targets to the extremists.

Golden Boy

All I can say to these guys is --- "Get a Job" "Get a Job" "Get a Job"!!!!


As Canadians why do we put up with these terroists. Time for some old fashion western justice like the old days. Let me quess we can't do any thing because we might hurt someone's feelings or scare their emotions. What a joke these guys are.


Pathetic..To those that feel there is a need or justification to be had in damaging property, here's a newsflash, idiots. All you accomplished was to re-enforce the general publics belief that cowards like you will contine to slither amongst us, faces hidden as if in shame. Grow up and get a job !!


Remember CSIS considered Rita McNeil a threat to national security and had an extensive file on her because they videotaped her at Women Equality rallies. Maybe that's why some people are wary of cameras. As Rita's story shows, you do not have to be doing illegal activity for CSIS to haunt you.

Catwoman 37

These people that did this should realize that their are other ways to protest.What happened to peaceful protesting? This group went out of line, and now they will probably be charged.


How do these "terrorists" think this willl help their cause?? Obviously, in this country we have freedom of speech, and peaceful protest is allowed, however these probably paid morons are only taking away any credibility that a normal protester might have. They are likely known to police, and they should be rounded up and locked up.Why should society have to put up with this, every time there is something going on( Olympics, G8, G20 etc.). Time to charge these "terrorists" for what they are, and no more "slaps on the wrists".


RBC is a huge company and it has done a lot of good and a lot of bad; but the employees who work at this branch do not deserve to terrorized. We all have the right to go to work, to earn an honest living to support our families; and to contribute to our communities. We should be able to do so without fear of being harmed or terroized. Let's also keep in mind that this is a fringe group. native leaders and community groups were consulted throughout the Olympic organization process and RBC is one of the most proactive companies about supporting aborignial education (stay in school programs) and employment. There are many remote communities where RBC is the only Canadian bank providing service (and employment) in these commuities.

Sam C

Does anyone else see the irony in the term "anarchist groups?" I hope they are caught AND punished as terrorists -- there is no justification for this kind of violence.

BP = Terrorist organization!

So Anarchists burn down a bank and they're supposed to "Terrorists" but BP poisons an ocean and it's just business as usual. The world is beyond mad!


Of course this is terrorism. A violent act to make a political point. The criminal code is clear. Find them charge them with terrorism and jail them for life.

Prof. Pye Chartt

@ BP = Terrorist organization!: Do you have some special inside information that BP intentionally destroyed an oil rig in order to pollute the Gulf of Mexico (and beyond) and, in so doing, make a political statement? No? Then, their "accident" (read: engineering ignorance and corporate negligence) is not defined as, or synonymous with, "terrorism." Give an on-line dictionary a go, and learn what the word means. Thanks.


No matter which side of the fence you fall on you can't ignore the fact that there's a lot of anger in the world over governments and a system most feel is "rigged" against the little guy paying for the rich.Look what's happening right now in Thailand. In Canada we have government elites refusing to let our "Auditor General" look into their expenses supported by our tax dollars. These career political leeches have no regard for our hard earned money as they freely ship our economy /jobs to "Communist China".Our government throws our money overseas to support corruption/scams disguised as "foreign aid" while many Canadians are homeless-living pay check to pay check on minimum wage as Ottawa clinks its champagne glasses with "our" beer wages. I don't condone violence that harms anyone but you have to at least put yourself into the otherside's shoes and realize that they are trying to get attention. You may refute their means of doing so but in Canada when our very own "Auditor General" cannot get the cooperation of our elected officials (crooks) to comply with opening their books so the are accountable to the Canadian can understand how frustration can build into acts like this. Quit pretending we have "transparency" and fairness in Canada when most of you know deep inside that we sure as hell "don't". For the frustrated crossing the line to make a point like this "the ends justify the means". The "disenfranchised" are angry and frustration is boiling over.

John from Saskatoon

Treat them exactly like Al Quida. They are no different. If they think this stuff helps promote thier cause they're saddly mistaken.

John from Saskatoon

koconnor100, Read up on the definition of terrorism. People don't have to die.

Prof. Pye Chartt

@ *Justin*: While I sincerely appreciate your understanding, and acknowledge that the collective realm of politics and governance generates great frustration, violent expressions are entirely inexcusable and, frankly, quite ineffective. Peaceful, organized protest is how it's wisely and respectfully done. Whine and complain all you want, but we still live in a democracy, where one vote is golden and many are magic. Too many people fail to grasp the power of the system. A huge percentage of the eligible population never bothers to cast a vote in a municipal, provincial, or federal election. Ridiculous, and embarrassing. Firebombing a bank is a moronic act. Show me a pouty little "disenfranchised" soul and I'll show you a spoiled and ungrateful yip who's too lazy and self-absorbed to undertake the requisite effort to properly publicize a "cause," fight for meaningful change, and reap the ultimate democratic reward. Lazy cowards.


Cowards in masks destroying what hard working and law abiding citizens built. I hope the the police are ready to crack some heads!


Hey BP=Terrorist, comments like yours give lefties a bad name. Yeah BP wanted to lose billions in Oil profits, not to mention cause a huge envoronmental disaster, in order to bring attention to the big bad oil companies, Themselves! Don't apply for any jobs as a cop any time soon eh!

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