Group claims responsibility for Quebec recruitment centre blast
Montreal — Globe and Mail Update with The Canadian Press
Published on Friday, Jul. 02, 2010 7:03AM EDT
Last updated on Friday, Jul. 02, 2010 1:02PM EDThttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec/group-claims-responsibility-for-quebec-armed-forces-recruitment-centre-blast/article1626227/
An obscure collective with anti-globalization and anti-military views is claiming responsibility for placing a bomb at a Canadian Forces recruitment centre in central Quebec.
The group, calling itself Initiative de la résistance internationaliste, first surfaced in 2004, and has previously taken responsibility for a pair of other bombings – one involving a Hydro-Québec tower and another that targeted a Quebec spokesman for Canada’s association of petroleum producers.
Provincial police Sgt. Eloise Cossette says authorities were informed Friday morning that a group is claiming responsibility for the blast.
Though police haven’t confirmed the group’s identity, it sent a fax to Montreal’s La Presse newspaper to claim the blast as its handiwork.
The communiqué denounces “corporate oligarchy” and a gas pipeline project in Afghanistan, rails against Canadian “militarism” and “imperialism,” and makes passing reference to thr Queen’s visit to Canada.
“As to the soldiers of the Canadian army, let us be clear, they are in no way ‘ours,’ they belong to the person to whom they blindly pledge allegiance, her Majesty Elizabeth II,” the document reads.
Federal installations across Quebec were placed high alert earlier Friday after the early-morning explosion struck the recruitment centre in Trois-Rivières.
The explosion blew out windows and ravaged the interior of the facility, which is on the ground floor of the city’s largest hotel.
Initial reports suggest a bomb was detonated at around 3 a.m. EST at the centre, situated in the downtown of the small St. Lawrence Seaway city 150 kilometres east of Montreal.
No one was injured in the blast, which police say was preceded by a telephoned warning about 20 minutes beforehand.
The blast carries echoes of bomb attacks against federal institutions carried out by the violent separatist group Front de libération du Québec in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The provincial Sûreté du Québec quickly issued a warning to other police and security forces to pay special attention to other federal buildings in the province, which are reportedly being swept for explosive materials.
Forensics experts are also combing through evidence at the scene of the bombing, and police made one arrest, although it’s not believed to be directly connected with the explosion.
Sgt. Cossette says the municipal police force received the threat “in the minutes before the blast.”
The glass doors of the recruitment centre were blown out and police sent a bomb squad and a canine unit to the scene.
“We have explosives technicians, crime specialists, dogs,” Sgt. Cossette said.
“These are the resources we will be contributing during the day with the goal of obtaining as much information as possible to solve this crime.”