Monday, January 11, 2010 0 comments

Canadian accused of terrorist plot apparently was trying to blow up the TSX

Apparently the ringleader accused of a terrorist plot in Toronto was trying to blow up the Toronto Stock Exchange, among other buildings. According to The Globe & Mail, he is also said to have contemplated a plan to short-sell stocks before blowing up the exchange:

It's alleged that Mr. Abdelhaleem was a key player, and was particularly fixated with blowing up the Toronto Stock Exchange building in a bid “to affect the economy, to make it lose half a trillion dollars,” according to Crown allegations.


The case against him, according to police, includes a recording of him describing the al-Qaeda-inspired plot. This included detonating a two-tonne fertilizer bomb that was to be built in hopes of destroying the TSE building and the three blocks around it.

Mr. Abdelhaleem allegedly said he would short-sell stocks ahead of the bombing, to reap a windfall that could be used to fund more terror attacks in cities like Chicago and New York.

I just wanted to highlight this story because it shows the emergence of a new type of financial terrorism. What was once relegated to fictional movies and novels, is playing out in the real life now. Terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda primarily target political targets now (WTC, Pentagon, Kenyan Embassy, popular airlines, etc) but if they ever focus on financial terrorism, the consequences would be immense.

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