Two men due in court after Canada thwarts al-Qa'ida-linked plot to blow up US-Canada rail line
Two men arrested, following year-long investigation, with no links to Boston Marathon bombings, according to authorities
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 22 April 2013
Canadian security forces have foiled a homegrown terrorist plot to derail a passenger train travelling between Toronto and New York, it was revealed today. Police announced that they had arrested two men, who planned to blow up a rail line on the Canadian side of the US-Canada border.
Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, from Montreal, and 35-year-old Raed Jaser, of Toronto, have been charged with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack, and “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”
A spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said at a news conference that the “al-Qa'ida-supported attack” was unconnected to last week’s Boston Marathon bombings. RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia told reporters, “Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or severely injured.” But while the two men had the “capacity and intent” to execute an attack, a police statement insisted there was “no imminent threat to the public, rail employees or infrastructure.”
The men had "direction and guidance" from al-Qa'ida members in Iran, though there was no reason to think the planned attacks were state-sponsored, Malizia said.
The arrests reportedly came at the climax of a lengthy, multi-agency investigation, christened “Operation Smooth,” which began in August 2012, and drew in not only several Canadian law enforcement agencies, but also the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
It is the latest in a string of terrorism-related incidents involving Canadian citizens. In January, two men in their early 20s from the same high school in London, Ontario died taking part in an Islamist attack on a gas plant in Algeria.
A week ago, it emerged that Mahad Ali Dhore, a Canadian who travelled to Somalia in 2009 to join the militant Islamist group Al Shabab, had been killed in a suicide attack at the law courts in the capital, Mogadishu. In 2006, 18 men from the Toronto area were arrested and accused of planning to detonate truck bombs in Toronto, before storming the Canadian Parliament and beheading the country’s Prime Minister. Eleven men were eventually convicted for participating in the plot
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of waste ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To promote and sell the Company...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Business: This company is going thro...