TORONTO: Canadian Police have arrested two men and charged them with plotting to derail a Toronto-area passenger train in an operation that they say was backed by Al-Qaida elements in Iran.
“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 on Monday.
US officials said the attack would have targeted a rail line between New York and Toronto, a route that travels along the Hudson Valley and enters Canada near Niagara Falls.
The RCMP said it had arrested Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto in connection with the plot. Authorities said it was not linked to last week’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Neither suspect is a Canadian citizen, and police did not reveal their nationalities. Two sources following the investigation said one was Tunisian. Canada’s intelligence agency has long expressed concern about the possibility that disgruntled and radicalized Canadians could attack targets at home and abroad.
Iran denied any links with the alleged terrorist plot that Canadian authorities claim was directed by al-Qaida operatives in Iran and sought to derail a passenger train.
Police gave little detail about the plotters, but said a tip from the Muslim community had helped their year-long investigation.