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Third suspect arrested in alleged Canadian home-grown terror cell

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Canadian terror suspects charged
  • Three suspects in custody, all arrested under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act
  • Suspects allegedly had materials and instructions to make IEDs
  • U.S. officials say there's no clear evidence of a link to U.S.

(CNN) -- Three men suspected of being part of a homegrown Canadian terror group participating in terrorist activities are in custody, Canadian law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Chief Superintendent Serge Therriault of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the three are Canadian citizens Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, of Ottawa; Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, of Ottawa; and Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ontario.

Alizadeh faces three charges: conspiracy, committing an act for a terrorist group and providing or making available property for terrorist purposes. Canadian federal prosecutor David McKercher told CNN the three charges carry maximum sentences ranging from 14 years to life in prison.

Ahmed has been charged with conspiracy, but he could face more charges, according to his defense attorney. Ian Carter told CNN he met with Ahmed for half an hour. Asked how the suspect was feeling, Carter said, "He is in shock." Ahmed is married and has a 7-month-old daughter.

Sher also is charged with conspiracy, officials said.

The RCMP said the suspects were arrested under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, passed in 2001.

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Therriault said that a yearlong investigation found that in addition to forming part of a terror cell, the suspects possessed schematics, videos, drawings, instructions, books and electrical components designed specifically for the construction of improvised explosive devices. He said authorities seized more than 50 circuit boards designed to remotely detonate IEDs.

In addition, Therriault said, investigators have grounds to believe Alizadeh is a member of and remains in contact with a terror group with links to the conflict in Afghanistan. One reason the arrests happened when they did, the investigator said, was to prevent Alizadeh from providing financial support for weapons that would be used against coalition forces and Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

The three suspects represent the core of the domestic terror group, Therriault said, but the ongoing investigation could result in more arrests.

U.S. authorities are aware of the arrests, and there are no related arrests in the United States, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

The official said there is no clear link between the Canadian suspects and the United States. Therriault said he could not confirm whether there was a direct link to the United States.

U.S. counterterrorism officials said they consider the arrests an internal Canadian matter.

CNN's Laura Dolan, Jim Barnett, Meg Miller and Pam Benson contributed to this story.