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Some of the 17 Muslim men accused of plotting terror bombings in Canada also planned to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister, Stephen Harper, and other leaders, according to accusations revealed Tuesday by the lawyer for one of the suspects.
Authorities further allege that the suspect, Steven Vikash Chand, plotted to take over media outlets, including Canadian Broadcasting Corp., his attorney said after a brief hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice.
Specifics of the charges against the other suspects were not released, but Chand's lawyer, Gary Batasar, asked that the allegations against his client be read in court. He told The Associated Press later that others face similar accusations, but did not say who or how many.
An eight-page document prepared by the prosecution summarizing the charges against all the suspects was not read in open court or distributed to the media, making it difficult to assess how sophisticated the alleged plot was or its progress.
But the purported plot to take political leaders hostage and behead them if Muslim prisoners were not freed and Canada did not pull its 2,300 troops out of Afghanistan added a chilling dimension to a case that has led US authorities to toughen security along the border and unsettled Canada's large Muslim community.