Police in Canada say they have managed to foil a plot by two people who were planning to open fire in a Halifax mall to kill as many people as possible on Valentine’s Day. Police apparently received word of the plot through a tip line. The plot would have been “devastating” but was not tied to terrorism, said Justice Minister Peter MacKay, according to the Globe and Mail. Police say that everyone involved in the plot is either dead or in custody. A 19-year-old male suspect shot himself to death when police surrounded his home while a 23-year-old American from Geneva, Illinois was arrested at the Halifax airport and confessed. A 20-year-old who had gone to the airport to meet her was also arrested. A 17-year-old boy was also arrested and said to be involved, although it’s not clear what his role was in the plot.
Police refused to say what the target of the plot was, but an unnamed source tells the Associated Press it was a mall.
“I wouldn’t characterize it as a terrorist event. I would classify it as a group of individuals that had some beliefs and were willing to carry out violent acts against citizens,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commanding Officer Brian Brennan said, according to the CBC. He would not specify what those beliefs were, saying simply that “they were not culturally based.”