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Lawyer: Government says terror plans included beheading

Canadian prime minister allegedly the target

Relatives of accused terrorists enter the courthouse in Brampton, Ontario, on Tuesday.



Acts of terror

TORONTO, Ontario (CNN) -- Prosecutors allege that one of the terrorism suspects arrested in Canada last week wanted "to behead the prime minister," a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

An eight-page synopsis of the allegations against the 17 men and boys was given to defense lawyers Tuesday.

"The allegations are that my client is alleged to have been part of a plot to blow up parliament buildings in Canada, storm the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corp.], take over the CBC, as well as, among other things, behead the prime minister," said Gary Batasar, lawyer for defendant Steven Vikash Chand, 25. (Watch the chilling allegations -- 1:32)

Batasar and other defense lawyers complained Tuesday in court that they have not been allowed to meet privately with their clients, who they say are under constant watch by armed guards. He called the tight security unnecessary and unprecedented.

"This is not Guantanamo, this is Toronto, Canada," Batasar said.

On Tuesday, instead of setting bail for the defendants, as had been expected, the court held a scheduling hearing to determine a date for considering bail, said Donald Mcleod, attorney for Jahmaal James, 23.

Mcleod said he and other lawyers also asked the court to allow family contact with the defendants and for the defendants to gather as a group for prayer.

Twelve men, ages 19 to 43, are charged with participating in a terrorist group. Six of them are accused of taking part in a plan to "cause an explosion" that could have caused death, injuries and property damage. The remaining five suspects are juveniles. Their names and charges have not been disclosed.

Fahim Ahmad, 21; Zakaria Amara, 20; Asad Ansari, 21; Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30; Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43; and Saad Khalid, 19, were charged in connection with the alleged explosives plot.

In addition, Ahmad, Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasim Abdi Mohammed, 24, are charged with importing guns and ammunition. And Ahmad, Amara, Ansari, Jamal, Khalid, James, Chand, Amin Mohamed Durrani, 18, and Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, were charged with receiving terrorist training.

Authorities have said more arrests are possible in what police said Saturday was a plot by an al Qaeda-inspired cell to blow up buildings in southern Ontario.

Dirie and Mohammed were in custody when the others were arrested. The two were arrested last August for allegedly trying to enter Canada from the United States with handguns and ammunition strapped to their bodies.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation said the Canadian suspects were "pretty far along in terms of attack planning," according to Canadian officials. Authorities have also said the suspects had been in contact with like-minded Muslims in Britain and in the U.S. state of Georgia. The Georgia suspects are accused of making "case videos" of locations such as the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. official, who declined to be identified by name or agency, said the case is an example of "homegrown Islamic extremism."

The official says there is "no evidence" the Canadian group planned to attack targets in the United States.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve and David Ensor contributed to this report

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