Two men in Canada were charged yesterday with plotting a terrorist attack on a train.
Two Canadian residents have been charged in an alleged terror plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train.
Raed Jaser [photo, left], 35, from Toronto and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, from Montreal, face terrorism-related charges,
…including “participation in a terrorist group,” and “conspiracy to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group.”
Officials in Canada said Mr Jaser and Mr Esseghaier had “direction and guidance” from al-Qaeda members in Iran but no financial assistance, and there was no reason to think the planned attacks were state-sponsored.
In New York, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne declined to discuss reports that the plot targeted a passenger line between New York City and Canada. However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Canada has kept New York posted on the investigation.
Chiheb Esseghaier is a Tunisian-born PhD student at a Université du Québec nanotechnology lab who was threatened with expulsion for his disruptive behaviour and strict religious views that alienated his colleagues.
One colleague at Institut National de la Récherche Scientifique (INRS) in Varennes, Quebec, described Mr. Esseghaier, as “a brainwashed person, basically,” who tore down posters he did not approve of, and pestered the administration to install a prayer room. …
His co-accused, Raed Jaser, is a Palestinian born in the United Arab Emirates, who has permanent resident status in Canada.
Raed Jaser, 35, was convicted of threatening death in 2001, receiving a sentence of two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine. But his record was recently cleared after he applied for — and received — a pardon.
The encouraging news: The initial tip to police about the intentions of the darling duo came from an imam in Toronto.
[suspect sketches via CTV News, Montreal]