Hiva Alizadeh, a 34-year-old living in Ottawa who trained in Afghanistan, was behind a plot that involved 56 detonation devices he’d built with instruction from Taliban-aligned fighters and smuggled into Canada. “If Allah wills, we will break their backs in their own country,” he was caught saying in Ottawa, on a wiretap, before his 2010 arrest.
Such evidence was kept secret until Wednesday, when Mr. Alizadeh – who had sworn an oath to al-Qaeda – entered a surprise guilty plea to terrorism charges in an Ottawa court. The plea got him a 24-year sentence and, for the first time, revealed the alarming details behind the case. More than 130 Canadians are feared to have joined terrorist causes abroad – with dozens flocking to Islamic State (IS), the notorious group in Syria and Iraq that is beheading its adversaries and urging its supporters to explode pipe bombs in North American cities.