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Author Topic: Canada thwarts "al Qaeda-supported" passenger train plot  (Read 1060 times)
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« on: April 22, 2013, 05:19:15 PM »

Canada thwarts "al Qaeda-supported" passenger train plot

Euan Rocha
Reuters
4:28 p.m. EDT, April 22, 2013


TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian police said on Monday they had arrested and charged two men with an "al Qaeda-supported" plot to derail a passenger train.

"Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured," Royal Canadian Mounted Police official James Malizia told reporters in Toronto.



RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia speaks during a news conference in Toronto, Ontario

File of a Via Rail train waits to leave the station at Union Station in Toronto


The RCMP said it had arrested Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto in connection with the plot, which authorities said was not linked to the Boston Marathon bombings, but likely had connections to al-Qaeda.


http://www.courant.com/news/breaking/sns-rt-us-arrests-cbcbre93l0yw-20130422,0,5568307.story
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 05:51:19 PM »

Our local news indicated the target was the Via Rail that ran between Toronto and New York.

Janet

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Al Qaeda-linked plot to attack passenger train broken up by Canadian, U.S. authorities
Published April 22, 2013


Canadian authorities announced Monday they have broken up an Al Qaeda-linked terror plot to attack a passenger train as it crossed over a bridge in the Toronto area.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday that two suspects have been arrested on terrorism charges. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who live in greater Montreal and Toronto -- were conspiring to carry out an Al Qaeda-supported attack against Via Rail, but posed no immediate threat to the public.

"It was definitely in the planning stage but not imminent," RCMP chief superintendent Jennifer Strachan told reporters at a news conference.

The six-month investigation, called “Project Smooth,”  was coordinated with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, CBC said. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement the operation was coordinated by a multi-agency team comprised of the national police, Canadian Security Intelligence Services, the Canada Border Service Agency and other law enforcement and national security partners in Montreal and Toronto, Canada's two largest cities.

<snipped>

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/22/canadian-police-announce-arrests-suspects-planning-major-terrorist-attack/
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 12:16:20 PM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/22/3358544/police-2-arrested-in-canada-terror.html
Bail hearings for 2 men in Canada terror plot
April 23, 2013

(3 Pgs)
TORONTO -- One of two men accused of plotting a terrorist attack against a Canadian passenger train made a brief court appearance Tuesday in a case that prompted Iran to immediately distance itself from allegations that al-Qaida was operating in the country.

Canadian investigators say Raed Jaser, 35, and his suspected accomplice Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, received "directions and guidance" from members of al-Qaida in Iran. Iran denied any involvement and said groups such as al-Qaida do not share Iran's ideology.

Charges against the two men include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Police said it was the first known attack planned by al-Qaida in Canada. Esseghaier was scheduled to appear in court in Montreal later Tuesday.
 ::snipping2::
Jaser's court appearance in Toronto was brief. He did not enter a plea and was given a new court date of May 23. He had a long beard and wore a black shirt with no tie. He was accompanied by his parents and brother. The court granted a request by his lawyer, John Norris, for a publication ban on future evidence and testimony.

Police said the men are not Canadian citizens and had been in Canada a "significant amount of time," but declined to say where they were from or why they were in the country.

The investigation surrounding the planned attack was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Canadian police said the men never got close to carrying out the attack.
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2013, 11:10:45 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22269639
Canada train 'al-Qaeda plot' suspects challenge case
April 23, 2013

Two suspects in an alleged al-Qaeda-backed plot to derail a Canadian passenger train have challenged the case against them.

In a Montreal court, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, said the case against him was based only on "appearances".

A lawyer for Raed Jaser, 35, said he would "defend himself vigorously", outside his hearing in Toronto.

Officials said the alleged plot had support from al-Qaeda in Iran, although there was no sign of state sponsorship.

Canadian authorities said the two suspects were arrested in Montreal and Toronto on Monday.

Mr Jaser is understood to be a United Arab Emirates national of Palestinian origin, though his lawyer points out he is a permanent Canadian resident who has lived there 20 years.

Mr Esseghaier is thought to be of Tunisian origin.

'Imam's tip-off'
The charges against the pair include conspiring to interfere with transport facilities on behalf of a terrorist organisation and conspiring to commit murder.

Neither suspect entered a plea in Tuesday's hearings.

But Mr Esseghaier said the charges against him were unfair.
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 02:14:04 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323335404578442710063302762.html
Suspect Snubs Law at Hearing in Toronto
April 24, 2013

TORONTO—One of the suspects in an alleged plot to derail a passenger train appeared in court for a second day, this time in Toronto, where he rejected Canadian law and a judge ruled he be kept in detention.

In a brief detainment hearing on Wednesday at the Ontario Court of Justice, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30 years old, asked to make a statement and then challenged the jurisdiction of Canada's legal system, saying it was man-made code.

"This criminal code is not a holy book," he said in a minute-long speech.

Mr. Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, 35, were arrested Monday and accused of plotting an attack on a VIA Rail passenger train with the support of al Qaeda elements in Iran.

The target of the attack is believed to have been Toronto-to-New York City rail service, though planning was at an early stage and there was never any imminent threat to passengers, according to U.S. and Canadian law-enforcement officials.
 ::snipping2::
Mr. Esseghaier and a court-appointed attorney didn't address the charges police have laid against him. Those include conspiring with terrorist groups and conspiring to murder.

The Tunisian Embassy in Ottawa on Wednesday confirmed that Mr. Esseghaier is a citizen of that country. In an email to The Wall Street Journal, the embassy called him "a brilliant Ph.D. student," who came to Quebec in August 2008.

The Tunisian Embassy said that it had requested a meeting with Canadian authorities "to seek clarification on his arrest and his involvement in this case."

Mr. Esseghaier had appeared in a Montreal courtroom on Tuesday, where authorities requested that he be moved to Toronto for trial.
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