MONTREAL – A 21-year-old man is facing terrorism-related charges after threatening to attack four police Montreal police.
Jeffrey Labelle was arraigned Monday and will return to court Tuesday.
He had been arrested on Friday after the discovery of handwritten notes specifying which precincts would be attacked.
The threat came just two days after two police officers in New York City were murdered in their squad car by a gunman.
Those deaths have given a greater sense of urgency to ensuring police here in Canada stay safe, according to Yves Francoeur, head of the Montreal police union.
“Our people must be vigilant at all times,” he told TVA, QMI Agency’s sister TV station. “We see what is happening in Canada. Toronto has already secured their stations a few years ago and Ottawa is in the process of doing so.”
Police were alerted to the threat by relatives of Labelle, who had noted a change in his way of dressing and his words, according to a spokesman for the Montreal police. Labelle was a recent convert to Islam.
According to his grandmother, however, he was not dangerous.
“He wasn’t that kind of boy,” Sylvie Labelle told TVA. “When he converted, he found inner peace. He wanted to take care of his mother and be the man of the house.”
The grandmother did note that Labelle had carried a machete, but said she believed it was to protect his mother from a violent person.
She added that she believes she knows which family member had turned Labelle in out of revenge.