Operation in parliament: hoax or misinformation, sources say

In the afternoon, Saturday, the police initially considered that the threat was credible.

MPs, senators and parliamentary staff have been ordered to shelter in place while officers closed adjacent streets to investigate thesuspicious incident.

Since then, several sources familiar with the situation have told CBC News that police are now investigating to determine if a hoax was the source of the threat. She is also trying to determine if the information that led to the large police deployment was just a bad tip, according to the sources who wish to remain anonymous.

The sources also say there is no threat to national security.

By Sunday afternoon, police had announced no arrests or charges. According to the sources, if charges arise, they will not be filed soon.

An incident initially described as a potential threat

A high-level government source briefed on the situation confirmed that the first information on the suspicious incident had been received Saturday afternoon from the intelligence branch of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

L’CBSA warned that the potential threat to the Parliamentary Precinct involved possible explosives in vehicles parked near Parliament Hill, the source said.

“No threat to public safety has been identified,” the police finally said on Saturday (archives).

Photo: The Canadian Press/PATRICK DOYLE

Law enforcement sources said the potential threat was considered credible and serious at the time. An investigation — involving, among others, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) and the RCMP — was launched.

At 12:55 p.m. on Saturday, the sheltering notice was sent by the PPS – who directs security operations in the parliamentary precinct – alerting them to this potential threat.

In downtown Ottawa, the OPS closed the street Wellington between the street Elgin and the avenue Bronsonas well as the street Metcalfe between Albert Street and Slater.

According to high-level government sources, the Prime Minister and Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino were briefed on the incident. Justin Trudeau was in Los Angeles after the Summit of the Americas.

At 3:35 p.m., the police tape blocking access to Parliament Hill began to be removed.

Following an investigation, no threat to public safety has been identifiedOttawa police said in a statement Saturday afternoon, adding that two vehicles of interest and two persons of interest have been located.

The sources said the vehicles had been inspected and that they no longer posed a threat.

The police established an imposing security perimeter in front of Parliament Hill on Saturday afternoon (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Charles Lalande

Sunday, the OPSwhich is leading the investigation, did not provide any update, repeating that the investigation into this case is continuingreiterating that there is no risk to public safety.

The sources said an investigation is underway to determine the origin of the threat.

Also on Sunday, the Gendarmerie said that for confidentiality and operational reasons, the RCMP does not confirm, deny or disclose information relating to criminal investigations until charges are laid. It is only when an investigation results in criminal charges that the RCMP confirm its investigation, the nature of the charges laid and the identity of the person(s) involved.

The RCMP highlighted that there is no threat to the citizens of Ottawa or on Parliament Hill at this time.

L’CBSA said in a statement that it does not confirm, deny or comment on ongoing investigations or police mattersreferring questions to PPS and at OPS.

With information from Philip Ling and David Fraser, CBC News


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