A “major” national security investigation is underway following warnings from Canadian border security officers about potential explosives in vehicles parked near Parliament Hill, sources told Global News. .
MPs and their staff were told to “shelter in place” on Saturday afternoon as police entered downtown Ottawa due to what law enforcement sources described as a credible threat. about explosives in the area.
Police searched two cars, one parked near the intersection of Slater Street and Metcalfe Street, the other near the Supreme Court of Canada building. Two people have been detained in connection with the incident.
Multiple national security and law enforcement agencies, including the national security team led by the RCMP, the Ottawa Police Department and senior intelligence officials, were involved in the investigation.
Two law enforcement sources told Global News that the tip about the potential explosives came from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), an intelligence agency focused on detecting “high-risk people and goods.” at the earliest possible time” during their trip to Canada.
In a statement to Global News, CBSA declined to confirm or deny its participation in the investigation.
Emergency call logs reviewed by Global News show that police arrested a suspect near Slater and Metcalfe, a busy downtown intersection three blocks from Parliament Hill, around 1:42 p.m., police said. Ottawa police then encircled a vehicle.
According to the log, that vehicle was “cleaned out” before 2:53 p.m., before a second vehicle alert was issued near the Supreme Court on Wellington Street. That vehicle was cleaned by 3:33 pm
It’s unclear Saturday night what police found in the car.
“Following an investigation, no public safety threats have been identified. At around 4pm the area was cleared and is now accessible to the public,” the Ottawa Police Department wrote in a social media post Saturday night.
“The investigation into this matter continues.”
Parliament Hill was evacuated in the early hours of Saturday afternoon and the Parliamentary Protective Service – the body responsible for security on Parliament Hill – has advised any MPs and staff to “shelter in place”. place” while the investigation unfolds.
“As the situation unfolds, our highest priority continues to be the safety of the parliamentary community and the public,” a spokesman for the protection agency said in a statement.
“We continue to work closely with our security partners.”
Former officials warn Canada not to prepare for national security threats
Tensions in the congressional constituency have been running high following the convoy protests in February, and there is active discussion among MPs and senators about revisiting the Hill’s security posture. Congress after that event.
Security on Parliament Hill rests with security, while Ottawa police are responsible for Wellington Street directly in front of the Hill.
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