A fourth member of an alleged Ottawa terror cell was taken into custody Friday as authorities continued to dismantle what they say is a plot that reached from the nation's capital to the battlefields of Afghanistan and beyond.
But the person has not yet been charged and the RCMP will not release a name.
"Earlier today in Ottawa, the (Integrated National Security Enforcement Team) executed one search warrant and took one person in custody as part of our standard operating procedures in the course of a search," RCMP Sgt. Marc Menard said.
"No charges against this individual have been laid."
The Mounties confirmed this latest arrest is part of an investigation that began last September known as "Project Samosa." So far, three other men have been arrested on terrorism-related charges as part of the probe.
Sgt. Menard wouldn't say if or when charges might be laid in the latest arrest or when the person would appear in court.
Rumours of this arrest began swirling Friday morning as the third suspect to face terror charges appeared in court.
Khurram Syed Sher, 28, of London, Ont., is charged with conspiracy to facilitate terrorist activity after a year-long investigation and a search which police say uncovered more than 50 circuit boards designed to remotely detonate bombs.
He is a McGill University graduate and an anatomical pathologist at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont., just south of London.
The bearded father of three and avid hockey player appeared nervous during the brief court appearance, where a justice of the peace ordered him to return Sept. 1 via video feed.
Mr. Sher wore a striped dress shirt and dark trousers. He has dark hair and his thick, black beard is neatly trimmed to a point at his jawline. Mr. Sher clasped his hands in front of him as his eyes darted across the courtroom. At one point he spoke quietly with his lawyer, Anser Farooq.
Mr. Farooq later told reporters his client had just been flown to Ottawa on an RCMP aircraft and was anxious to return to his family.
"He's okay. I mean, he's just been brought over, separated from his family," Mr. Farooq said.
"We're hoping to address the main concern, which is getting into the court and hear the concerns the Crown has, and get him back to his family as soon as possible."
Mr. Sher is shown in an online video auditioning for TV's "Canadian Idol" in Montreal two years ago, moonwalking, doing the robot dance and singing a deliberately woeful version of Avril Lavigne's "Complicated."
Mr. Farooq said he had seen the video, quipping "I don't know if he wants to try again."
The others charged are Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, both of Ottawa. They appeared in court on Thursday. They, like Sher, are Canadian citizens.
Police say a terror attack was likely still months away when they pounced on the plot, but they moved because they feared the men were about to start sending money to other terrorists in Afghanistan.
A former agent with Canada's spy service said sources have told him the Parliament Buildings were among the group's targets. Michel Juneau-Katsuya, now an Ottawa-based security consultant, added that he has been told the alleged plotters were also targeting Montreal's public-transit system.
"It was in line with al-Qaida trademarks, which is to try to hit icons and symbols that will strike greater fear or greater effect on the general population," Mr. Juneau-Katsuya said.
"If you look at what al-Qaida usually hits, it's always something of great symbol."
The ex-spy said the alleged plotters apparently used public computers in Ottawa libraries to share information - which police intercepted, prompting the arrests.
Mr. Alizadeh is charged with conspiracy, committing an act for terrorism purposes and providing or making available property for terrorism purposes.
He is also charged with making or having "an explosive substance" with the intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property. Police said the circuit boards are considered an explosive substance under the Criminal Code.
Mr. Ahmed faces the same charge as Mr. Sher - conspiracy to facilitate terrorist activity.
The Mounties described the three as members of a home-grown terrorist group, although they said Mr. Alizadeh is a member of another terror group with links to the Afghan war.
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