TORONTO (AP) — Two terrorism suspects made a brief appearance in court on Thursday, and a third man, who appeared on Canada’s version of “American Idol,” has reportedly been arrested as part of an alleged homegrown plot.
Police arrested two Ottawa residents Wednesday and said they expected more arrests. The Toronto Star reported the third arrest, of Khuram Sher, on Thursday.
Sher appeared on the reality show “Canadian Idol” in 2008 in which he sings a comical version of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” complete with dance moves that include a moonwalk. He told the judges he’s from Pakistan and likes hockey, music and acting. Police didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking confirmation Sher was arrested.
Hiva Alizadeh and Ahmed Misbahuddin appeared in court Thursday.
A government official has described it as a homegrown plot targeting Canada. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Officials have declined to specify the allegations. A news conference is planned for Thursday afternoon.
A judge remanded Alizadeh and Misbahuddin in custody until they appear again, by video, next Wednesday.
Misbahuddin’s lawyer, Ian Carter, said the charges are serious and his client, a husband and father, could be put away “for a long time.”
“He is in shock. That’s all I can say,” Carter said.
Police descended on a home in Canada’s national capital of Ottawa early Wednesday. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a news release they were executing search warrants in connection with the case.
Matthew Weiler, a neighbor, said a man and woman had lived at the address for at least six months and that the woman usually was veiled in public.
Carolina Ayala, who lives four doors down from the couple, said she saw the man wearing blue hospital scrubs and thinks he may have worked at a hospital.
A few miles away a police car sat outside an apartment building where a second raid was carried out.
The arrests come four years after the apprehension of the so-called Toronto 18, suspects in a homegrown terror plot that involved the attempted setting off of truck bombs in front of Canada’s main stock exchange and two government buildings. The ringleaders and others have been convicted.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Dick Fadden alluded to the possibility of other homegrown terrorist cases in comments to a Parliament public safety committee last month.