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Canadian Police Thwart Al-Qaida Linked Plot Against Passenger Trains

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TWC News: Canadian Police Thwart Al-Qaida Linked Plot Against Passenger Trains
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Canadian officials on Monday announced the arrests of two men who were planning a major terror plot against Canadian passenger train service.

During a press conference in Ottawa, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the suspects were taken into custody in Toronto and Montreal.

Chiheb Esseghaier, a 30-year-old Montreal resident, seen above in police custody, and 35-year-old Raed Jaser of Toronto allegedly watched trains and railways in the greater Toronto area with the intent to carry out an al-Qaida supported attack.

Neither suspect is a Canadian citizen.

Officials say the intended target was Via Rail, a Canadian intercity rail line, and the plotters intended to kill as many passengers as possible.

However, authorities said the attack was never more than a plan and public safety was not compromised.

A source familiar with the matter told NY1 the potential routes that may have been targeted include a route from New York City to Toronto.

Police say the arrests came after an extensive investigation that dated back to last summer and included multiple agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"The individuals were receiving support by al-Qaida elements located in Iran," said James Malizia of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Now, I can tell you that there's no information to indicate that these attacks were state-sponsored."

"It was a real threat to the economy, a real threat for a lot of reasons. And that was a real threat. Not an imminent threat, but it was something very serious," said Gaetan Courchesne of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Police executed search warrants at several locations in Toronto and Montreal on Monday.

The two suspects are due in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing.

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