23 Apr 2013

Canada foils plot to blow up railway line

6:49 pm on 23 April 2013

Canada has thwarted a plot to blow up a rail line between Canada and the United States. Two foreign nationals have been arrested.

A daily passenger train runs on the line between Toronto and New York City.

At a briefing at 3.30pm (local time) on Monday about a "national security criminal investigation", police said the suspects were receiving direction and guidance from al Qaeda elements in Iran, but there was no indication that the attacks were state-sponsored.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the suspects had been under surveillance for more than a year. They were targeting a specific train route rather than a specific train.

Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said their plan was to derail a train and "kill and hurt people".

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, are expected to appear in court on Tuesday. Police say they are not Canadian citizens.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) earlier reported that the arrests were made after raids in Toronto and Montreal.

CBC said the operation was conducted by Canadian security forces in conjunction with the US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

Police gave little detail about the accused, but said a tip from the Muslim community had helped their investigation.