A Pakistani man planned to use remote-controlled bombs to blow up the U.S. Consulate and other buildings in Toronto’s financial district, authorities said on Wednesday.

Jahanzeb Malik, 33, was arrested on Monday following a lengthy investigation by security and anti-terrorism personnel, said the Canada Border Services Agency. He has not been charged and the allegations have not been proven.

Malik was ordered held in custody on “security grounds” pending deportation following an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing on Wednesday. He appeared via video link from Lindsay, Ont.

According to CBSA, Malik befriended and attempted to radicalize an undercover RCMP officer, showing him videos of beheadings by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. He also told the officer that he wanted to make a video of the planned attacks in Toronto to encourage others to do the same.

The CBSA also alleges that Malik attempted to help the undercover officer make an explosive device that could be detonated remotely.

Malik also allegedly claimed to be a friend of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaeda cleric who was killed in 2011 during an airstrike in Yemen.

According to the CBSA, Malik had been under investigation since September of last year.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada plans to review the detention order on Monday.

Came to Canada in 2004

Malik came to Canada in 2004 as a student and became a permanent resident in 2009, according to CBSA. He travelled frequently between Pakistan and Canada.

Authorities also say he had taken weapons, combat and landmine training in Libya.

It is unclear why the government is moving to deport Malik rather than charge him criminally.

During a news conference in Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said he wouldn’t comment on that issue, citing operational matters.

But Blaney did say “the RCMP has clearly indicated that this individual was willing to commit a terrorist attack on Canadian soil.”

Malik’s lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

Move to deport ‘a little strange,’ security expert says

Security expert Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former CSIS agent, told CBC News Network the government is likely moving to deport him to avoid a criminal trial, which could take years and cost the government millions.

“They want to try and avoid that lengthy exercise, and simply send him to Pakistan, hoping that he will be arrested immediately and also prosecuted.”

“This is a little bit strange,” said Juneau-Katsuya. “We have him, we should be able to deal with this guy.”

“I do not necessarily have the greatest confidence that in Pakistan, this will be treated like it should.”





With files from The Canadian Press