- Associated Press - Thursday, August 26, 2010

TORONTO | A man who appeared on Canada’s version of “American Idol” was the third person arrested as part of a suspected plot against targets in Canada and abroad, police said Thursday.

The two other suspects made brief appearances in court Thursday on charges that they had plans to make bombs and had plans to use them.

Police arrested Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed in Ottawa on Wednesday and Khurram Syed Sher in London, Ontario on Thursday. Mr. Alizadeh, 30, and Mr. Ahmed, 26, appeared in court Thursday. All three are Canadian.

Mr. Sher, 28, appeared on the reality show “Canadian Idol” in 2008, when he sang a comical version of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” complete with dance moves that included a moonwalk. He told the judges he is from Pakistan and likes hockey, music and acting.

Police say the men had plans and schematics to make improvised explosive devices. Police seized 50 electronic circuit boards, which they say could be used as remote-control triggers for bombs. They said one of the men was trained overseas to make explosive booby traps, but did not specify which one.

Police say they moved in on the men to prevent them from sending money to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

“The arrests have prevented the gathering of bombs and the execution of one or many terrorist attacks,” said Serge Therriault, chief superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Superintendent Therriault said details on the targets would be released in court. Police say they conspired with three other people to “knowingly facilitate terrorist activities” in Canada and abroad. Police say the plot ranged from Canada to Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan, but they did not elaborate.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the arrests should remind Canadians that they are not immune to terrorism.

“The networks that threaten us are worldwide. They exist not only in remote countries but they have - through globalization and through the Internet - they have links through our country and all through the world,” Mr. Harper said.

A judge remanded Mr. Alizadeh and Mr. Ahmed into custody until they appear again, by video, on Wednesday.

Police said Mr. Sher is a doctor in St. Thomas, Ontario, and that Mr. Ahmed is an X-ray technician in Ottawa.

Mr. Ahmed’s attorney, Ian Carter, said the charges are serious and his client, a husband and father, could be put away “for a long time.”

“He is in shock. That’s all I can say,” Mr. Carter said.

Police descended on a home in Canada’s national capital of Ottawa early Wednesday.

The arrests were made four years after the apprehension of the so-called Toronto 18, suspects in a homegrown terrorist plot that involved the attempted detonation of truck bombs in front of Canada’s main stock exchange and two government buildings. The ringleaders and others have been convicted.

Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Dick Fadden alluded to the possibility of other homegrown terrorist cases in comments to a Parliament public safety committee last month.

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