Canadian police: "al-Qaeda-supported" plot to derail train thwarted

Police in Canada have arrested two men they accuse of conspiring to commit an "al-Qaeda supported" attack that was to derail a passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area. The arrests are the result of cross-border investigation which also involved US law enforcement.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto, are 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."

The purported plot is said to have no link to the recent bombings in Boston, nor is there evidence the alleged plot was state-sponsored.

Neither is a Canadian citizen, but the police did not reveal their nationalities. A spokeswoman for the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique near Montreal confirmed that Esseghaier was a doctoral student at the research institute and that he had been arrested. Julie Martineau, the school's director of communications, said Esseghaier arrived at the school in 2010 and was about midway through his degree. "He is doing a PhD in the field of energy and materials sciences," she told Reuters.
adds Jeff Stein at Spy Talk digs up similar background:
One of the suspects in an alleged terrorist plot to blow up a Canadian railway line may be the same man as listed as a Tunis-born biological engineer at a prestigious research institute in Quebec, who features an al Qaeda banner on his Linked-in web site

Well, who among us hasn't placed an al Qaeda banner on our LinkedIn page for lul—wait, what? For real? Not hoaxed or hacked?

A screengrab below:


  1. What? They weren’t being strung along by Canadian security forces like the last great terrorist sting? I am shocked.

    1.  It actually demnstrate that there is no need to a freedom depriving bill to “fight” terrorism. They did that one with the current law.

      But it sure looks like a decoy to divert attention and cause fear.

      “Fear for Canada” is Harper’s slogan™ after all.

  2. AQ has a flag?  Who would put that on their linked in profile?

    That said, I’ll believe it when I see it in court.  This is not the first time the RCMP has called wolf or made some high profile arrests/terrorism foofaraw.  

  3. “conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.”

    Always make sure your killing is for money or just for fun.  That isn’t so bad.

  4. More recent coverage is saying ‘Al Qaeda inspired’, a decidedly less clear linkage than ‘supported’.  

  5. OK, so who’s going to be the first idiot to derail this discussion with a stupid pun?



  6. I’m wary to wax enthusiasm about this, but I will cautiously say I’m glad no one got hurt, and that tips from the Muslim community were instrumental to the investigation.

    I just hope this isn’t the political springboard to a new police state in Canada.

    1. From the Kanukian foofaraw I read here on BB, sounds like you guys haven’t finished up with the old one yet.

    2.  I can’t help but suspect Our Temporary Placeholder Government will use this as evidence that they need more police powers, despite the fact that our current police powers worked just fine.

      1. Given that the Harper Government brought a new bill to the House asking for new police state powers the same day this story broke, your suspicions seem pretty valid.

    3. Shin,

      Wasn’t aware that tips from the Muslim community were part of the arrest–it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this was whitewashed out of US News.

      As you may know from my past comments, I’ve always been a proponent of hearing more from the local community when a suspect is caught.  If we get help/a response like this every time, it will help shut up the Peter Kings of the world and help re-normalize relations between local majority Muslim populations and the rest of the communities.

      FWIW, the last time some guy got convicted here in NYC for a legit (ie not trumped-up shit) terror attempt, the members of the perp’s mosque held an anti-terrorism statement rally in Jackson Heights, in a prominent public location, even though it was friggin cold out.  NY1 (local very high profile news channel out here in NYC, very well-done) carried it in-depth, and ran it as part of its hourly “news highlight” bumpers the day it happened, and interviewed the sign-carrying, flag-waving attendees (footage of which got circulated into each news hour, with a bigger piece for Queens residents in the hourly boro highlight section).

      Sadly, it got only a line mention in the NY Times, buried in the larger story of this guy’s conviction, and of COURSE, zero comment in the NY Post/Daily News.  However, those two bodies did manage to carry the usual histrionics from the excerable Dov Hikind (as a Jewish NYer I LOATHE him), who will step in front of a camera whenever a Chassid stubs his toe or a non-Jew throws a cigarette butt on the sidewalk, and then yell “NAZI” every time  a buidling code violation/ticket/arrest of an Orthodox Jew on whatever civil/criminal charge is made in the same.

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