Wednesday afternoon, police appealed to the public for help in pinpointing a possible terrorist threat: An enigmatic European in his 50s, a man with an accent, limp and missing fingers, who police said had misrepresented himself as he bought nearly a tonne of fertilizer in small 25-kilogram bags from a rural Ontario supplier.
Just before the G8/G20 summits, with all eyes on Ontario, there was enough missing chemicals for a reprise of the 1995 fertilizer bomb that exploded in Oklahoma City, where terrorists killed nearly 170 people.
By nightfall, the appeal for help had worked. The mystery man himself contacted police, who determined that “nothing nefarious” had taken place, in the words of one detective. Police did not identify the mystery man, but suggested he had been found and that he had wanted the substance only for growing plants.
The terrorist threat was merely a “gardening incident,” according to police.