From The Canadian Press
Less than a week before the G8 and G20 summits, Ottawa police say they have made arrests in the firebombing of a local Royal Bank of Canada branch in May.
Three Ottawa-area men were arrested during raids on Friday, police sources said. They have been linked to an “anti-establishment” group which has been operating for some time.
The names of the suspects are being officially withheld because they haven’t been charged, said Carole Lavigne, manager of media relations for the Ottawa Police Service, early Friday evening.
But later, the Ottawa Citizen identified them as Mathew Morgan-Brown, a well-known activist in his 30s, Claude Haridge, 50, of Stittsville, and Roger Clement, 58, a retired federal public servant. The report said they had been charged with offences ranging from arson to mischief to careless storage of ammunition.
The blast, which occurred at 3:30 a.m. on May 18 in the RBC branch in the Glebe neighbourhood, was first reported as a suspicious fire.
But a day later, a video of the bank-front erupting into flames appeared on a local website, posted by an activist group calling itself FFFC-Ottawa.
The video of the firebombing, filmed from across the street, appeared with a statement of protest against RBC, which the group said was a strong sponsor of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics that had taken place on “stolen indigenous land.”
Police carried out an intense investigation. In late May, they seized a getaway car, a rented 2010 SUV equipped with a GPS device. In the past weeks, investigators continued to close in and remained confident that arrests were imminent, Chief White said.
The bank suffered about $500,000 in damage, he said, far more than originally reported. The branch is still closed.