Cops: Two arrested in Canada in al-Qaida supported terror plotBy ELLEN YAN
April 22, 2013
Two people were arrested in Canada over an al-Qaida supported plot to bomb a passenger train, Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced Monday.
Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, took several steps to pursue their plans, including watching Canada's VIA Rail trains in the greater in Toronto area, authorities said.
While the suspects had the means to carry out their plot, "there was no imminent danger" to the public and train infrastructure, said James Malizia, assistant commissioner in charge of federal operations at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Several local and national police agencies began tracking the suspects in August in what was dubbed Project Smooth, authorities said.
The two are expected to be arraigned Tuesday on several charges, including conspiring to carry out an attack and conspiring to murder people for the benefit of a terrorist group or at the group's direction.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on counterintelligence and terrorism, issued a statement about the arrests:
"I commend our Canadian counterterrorism partners, particularly the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for their efforts in stopping a major terrorist plot which was intended to cause significant loss of human life, including New Yorkers," said King (R-Seaford).
The New York connection was not immediately clear.
Amtrak also released a statement: "Amtrak is aware of the ongoing investigation and will continue to work with Canadian authorities to assist in their efforts."