Amanda Korody did not seem like the kind of person who would plot a terrorist attack, friends said after Canadian police arrested the woman and accused her of planning to blow up the B.C. legislature.
Police arrested Korody on Monday for her involvement in an alleged plan to set bombs on the steps of the B.C legislature on Canada Day. Korody, who is either 28 or 29, is accused of plotting with 38-year-old John Nuttall to turn household pressure cookers into bombs filled with rusted nails, bolts, and washers — the same type of device used by the Boston Marathon bombers.
Korody’s background would not seem to indicate a life as a terrorist. She grew up the adopted daughter of a prominent family in St. Catharines, Ontario, with her father the owner of a successful dentist practice.
But friends who knew Korody from her childhood in St. Catharines said she was an impressionable girl who could have easily fallen under the sway of Nuttall, her common-law husband.
“The Amanda that I knew and the Amanda that I met in St. Catharines back in 2000, 2001 is a bright, intelligent, creative, intuitive, gentle and kind young woman who had a really vast interest in art and film and culture and music,” former friend Jeffrey Rossetto told CBC News.
Rossetto thinks Amanda Korody may have found in Nuttall someone to fill her desperate need to fit in.
“She expressed about five years ago that she was kind of interested in converting to Islam. But I need to make something clear about that. Before she was doing that she was trying to be in a band,” Rossetto said. “And before that, she was trying to be like a fashion model. And before that, she was just basically always trying to find or trying to assume some type of identity that would give her some kind of feeling of a purpose or some kind of a place in the world. ”
If true, hitching onto Nuttall may have created a dangerous combination. Friends of Nuttall said he was becoming increasingly disconnected, spending time with people he referred to as his “Muslim brothers.” But even his deepening ties to Islam brought trouble — reports said Nuttall was kicked out of a Surrey mosque six months ago after a disagreement over the interpretation of the Quran.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they believe Amanda Korody and John Nuttall were “inspired by al-Qaeda ideology,” though it appears they were working without outside help in their plot.