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Terrorist Plot to Sabotage Canada-U.S. VIA Train Foiled

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
Fallen Comrade
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This story reporting on a series of arrests in regard to a major terrorist plot is from the CBC site. It is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Alleged terror plot thwarted by arrests in Ontario, Quebec

RCMP to outline joint operation involving CSIS, U.S. authorities and local police

By Greg Weston, National Affairs Specialist, CBC News

Posted: Apr 22, 2013 1:44 PM ET

Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce later today they have thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, arresting two suspects in Montreal and Toronto, CBC News has learned.

Highly placed sources tell CBC News the alleged plotters have been under surveillance for more than a year in Quebec and southern Ontario.

The two men are expected to appear in court tomorrow.
Police have made a number of arrests in southern Ontario and Quebec following a joint operation between Canadian and U.S. authorities. (CBC)
The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The arrests Monday morning were co-ordinated and executed by a special joint task force of RCMP and CSIS anti-terrorism units, combined with provincial and municipal police forces in Ontario and Quebec.

The RCMP are expected to hold a press conference Monday afternoon to announce the arrests and provide details of the alleged plot, and give an overview of the extensive police and intelligence operation.

Law enforcement officials say the terror suspects arrested today have no connection to the two brothers accused of last week's Boston Marathon bombings.

They also say there is no tie to the former London, Ont., high school friends who joined al-Qaeda and died earlier this year while helping to stage a bloody attack on an Algerian gas refinery.

Alleged plot recalls Toronto 18 case

Sources say the alleged plot disrupted by Monday's arrests was potentially more dangerous than the bombings and hostage-takings planned by the so-called Toronto 18.

That plot was broken up in the summer of 2006, when police arrested 18 people in a massive anti-terrorism sweep in southern Ontario.

Eleven of the 18 were subsequently convicted of aiding the group in various plots, ranging from blowing up the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and the Toronto Stock Exchange with trucks laden with explosives to beheading the prime minister and other politicians.

The group never got a chance to execute any of its plans before being arrested when one of its members took delivery of what they thought were three tonnes of explosive fertilizer to be used in truck bombs. Undercover agents had replaced the shipment with harmless chemicals.

Four are serving sentences of 18 years to life in prison, while the other seven received terms ranging from 30 months to just over seven years.

More recently, three Canadian citizens were arrested in August, 2010 — two Ottawa men and a London, Ont. doctor — and charged with knowingly facilitating a terrorist activity.

One of them, Hiva Alizadeh, was also charged with possession of more than 50 circuit boards allegedly to be used as remote detonators for bombs.

The cases involving those three have yet to go to court.
Official: Thwarted terror plot targeted train from Canada to U.S.
By Chelsea J. Carter and Catherine Shoichet, CNN
(CNN) -- The thwarted terror plot in Canada was targeting a train "going from Canada to the U.S.," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, told CNN in an interview to be broadcast on the Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Monday.

Authorities have arrested two men accused of planning to carry out an al Qaeda-supported attack against a Canadian passenger train on one of its busiest routes, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, are charged with "receiving support from al Qaeda elements in Iran" to carry out an attack and conspiring to murder people on a VIA railway train in the greater Toronto area, Assistant Police Commissioner James Malizia said.

"When I speak about supported, I mean direction and guidance," he said.

Despite the allegation of links to al Qaeda in Iran, there was no evidence to suggest the planned attacks were state-sponsored, Malizia said.

Authorities said the suspects were not Canadian citizens, but declined to identify their nationality or how long they had been in Canada.

There was no link between the Canadian investigation and the Boston Marathon bomb attack, an official with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CNN on condition of anonymity.

Canadian authorities were tight-lipped about the planned time frame of the alleged attack except to say it was in the planning stage and not imminent.

"We are alleging these two individuals took steps and conducted activities to conduct a terrorist attack," Police Capt. Jennifer Strackan told reporters.

"They watched trains and railways in the greater Toronto area."

The alleged attack included a plan to derail a passenger train, she said.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation quoted "highly placed sources" as saying the suspects were under surveillance for more than a year.

The CBC reported that the investigation was "part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security."

Essenghaier, of Montreal, and Jaser, of Toronto, will make their first court appearance on Tuesday, police said.

News of the arrests came the same day Canada's parliament debated an anti-terrorism bill.
Well done chaps! 
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
On the down side, be prepared for the cries to better protect the northern border, and a resurrection of the myth that  the 9-11 Hijackers entered the US from Canada. ::)
An update
Two men accused of plotting Canada's first known Al Qaeda-sponsored terrorist attack appeared in a packed Old City Hall courtroom Thursday morning.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and appearing via video link, Chiheb Esseghaier told the justice of the peace that he did not have a lawyer. He has applied for legal aid.

Esseghaier pleaded with the court to help him get a lawyer who would "co-operate" with him by using "the holy book as a reference."

"I am agree to have a lawyer," he said, but stressed that any legal representation must use the "holy book." "I don't want a book written by humans," he told the court.

Raed Jaser also made a brief court appearance via video link. The lawyer representing him, Brydie Bethell, obtained disclosure and agreed to returning to court June 25.

Jaser said little except to ask the court to speak to his lawyer, but Bethell said she would speak to him later.

Esseghaier returns to court June 3.

Jaser, a 35-year-old of Palestine origin, and Esseghaier, a 30-year-old Tunisian national, were arrested on April 22 after allegedly plotting to attack a New York-Toronto passenger train. Jaser was arrested in Toronto, Esseghaier in Montreal. Both face numerous charges including conspiring with a terrorist group ....
Hamilton Spectator, 23 May 13

"...but stressed that any legal representation must use the "holy book." "I don't want a book written by humans," he told the court."

Just who does he think wrote the Koran?  Like the Bible and all other "Holy books", it was written and printed by men inspired by visions and events; and scribed according to their memories of those visions or events.

"Man" is the common imperfection in all these instances.
Ah but the Koran was not written by a man but God.

Mohamed was merely the conduit.
Jim Seggie said:
Ah but the Koran was not written by a man but God.

Mohamed was merely the conduit.

yes.....I too am meerly the conduit....my book Bible will be out in September.....

about the same time the Sports Illustrated Swim Suite edition comes out....look for it!!
GAP said:
yes.....I too am meerly the conduit....my book Bible will be out in September.....

about the same time the Sports Illustrated Swim Suite edition comes out....look for it!!

I like your thinking....
Still lookin' - highlights mine ....
Chiheb Esseghaier shuffled to the prisoner's dock on Monday, his ankles bound in shackles, for what would be another lesson in his crash course in Canadian law.

Esseghaier is one of two men charged with terror-related offences in relation to a plot to derail a Via Rail passenger train somewhere between Toronto and New York City.

But his demand for a defence based on the Qur'an rather than the Criminal Code has thrown a wrench into even some of the routine proceedings in this case, and is proving difficult to accommodate.

Criminal defence lawyer Nader Hasan, a member of Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, says he does not believe Esseghaier can get the lawyer he wants.

"You cannot answer those charges without resorting to law based on man-made Canadian Criminal code and Canadian constitutional principles," Hassan said.

Not only does he think Esseghaier will not find the lawyer he wants, Hassan says the accused is potentially ignoring Islamic law.

"As a Muslim I know enough to know that Muslims, whether they live in a Muslim majority country or a majority non-Muslim county they have an obligation to follow the law of the state,"
he said ....
CBC.ca, 10 Jun 13
No preliminary inquiry for YOU!
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada today announced the filing of a direct indictment against Chiheb Esseghaier, 31, and Raed Jaser, 36, in the terrorism-related case named Project Smooth.

The indictment was filed September 19, 2013, in Ontario Superior Court, with changes to the charges against both accused.

By preferring an indictment, the Crown is sending these matters directly to trial. The decision was made under section 577 of the Criminal Code and follows policy in the Federal Prosecution Service Deskbook, a public document ....
Public Prosecution Service of Canada, 23 Sept 13

Meanwhile, one of the defendants continues to make friends and influence people ....
In an interview from prison, one of the VIA Rail terror suspects says the West is “plunging a knife into the body” of the Muslim world, and he was duty-bound to “liberate Muslim lands.”

Chiheb Esseghaier told a Montreal-based newspaper** the September 11, 2001, attacks were a “tap on the cheek” compared to the violence committed by the West.

Mr. Essegheir does not deny the charges against him — plotting to cause a train disaster in Ontario’s Niagara region — and stresses that there is “no shortage of reasons” to launch a terrorist attack on North America.

“We have to liberate Muslim lands and support our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan,” he said, claiming that NATO intervention in the country was  “undressing our women.” ....
National Post, 26 Sept 13

** - links to La Presse article in French
Personally, I think these are a pair of clowns, of approximately the same cut as the "Stupid Eighteen" who got scooped a while back, after talking out loud about their cool adventures in a Tim's where they could be overheard .

I doubt these two had any real idea off how they would do this, or any appreciation of what an insignificant effect it would have in the bigger picture.

The real problem IMHO  is that these nitwits create a "cry wolf" situation. They debase the argument that we may have real, dangerous and capable bad people in our country, who will in time do something serious.

They also fuel the fire of  the resident mouth-breathers who want to firebomb mosques or do other stupid things to otherwise peaceful Canadian Muslims, thereby tilling the soil for terrorists by stoking Muslim anger, isolation and resentment.
A quick update - no more pardon for YOU, buddy ....
There is no evidence of any political interference in a decision to revoke the criminal pardon of a man accused of plotting to attack a passenger train, a Federal Court judge has ruled.

In upholding the pardon revocation, Judge Keith Boswell said the Parole Board of Canada had not been unfair to Raed Jaser, who has yet to stand trial in relation to the alleged terror plot.

For one thing, Boswell wrote in reasons released Tuesday, Jaser may never have to stand trial and, if he does, the trial judge can decide whether to allow his criminal record to be used against him.

"The applicant has not yet suffered any prejudice in defending the charges against him and may never suffer any," Boswell said.

Jaser, 36, of Toronto, who is in custody, was convicted of fraud in 1997 for passing bad cheques and in 2001 for uttering threats. The Parole Board of Canada issued a pardon — now known as a records suspension — in 2009.

However, the board moved quickly to revoke the pardon after Jaser was charged along with Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, in April 2013 in what the RCMP alleged was an al-Qaida-guided plan to derail a Via or Amtrak passenger train between Toronto and New York City.

Based solely on the RCMP allegations, the board decided Jaser was no longer of "good conduct."

Boswell said he saw no problem with the board's approach, saying the charges speak for themselves, regardless of whether the allegations turn out to be true or not ....
The trial for the VIA Rail wannabe bombers starts today as well.  They report that it is expected to take about 8 weeks from start to finish.  One defendant has two lawyers and has plead not guilty. 

The other refused to speak and will represent himself, which I find puzzling as he claimed he was above the laws of man and only needed to heed the laws of God.  Seems as if God decided not to send him a lawyer too.  He must be guilty...  >:D
A bit more ....
Two men accused of planning a terrorist attack on a passenger train travelling between Canada and the U.S. were motivated by Islamic extremism and spent months plotting to murder as many people as they could, their trial heard on Monday.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier both face multiple charges in the alleged Via Rail plot. Not-guilty pleas have been entered for both of them.

On the first day of the trial, Crown lawyer Croft Michaelson said the pair made up a terrorist group operating in Canada in 2012.

“Mr. Esseghaier and Mr. Jaser, motivated by Islamic extremism, agreed that they would murder persons to instill fear in the community,” Michaelson said in his opening remarks.

“They did this so that Canadians and Americans would remove their troops from Muslim lands.” ....
This, from CBC.ca ....
Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier, the men convicted earlier this year on terrorism charges for plotting to derail a Via passenger train, were both sentenced to life in prison today in a Toronto courtroom.

In passing sentence, Superior Court of Justice Judge Michael Code said the unusual gravity of terrorism offences means he had to send a strong enough message to deter others considering carrying out similar crimes. He said there was little evidence presented that mitigates the presumptive sentence of life in prison.

"These are the most serious of terrorism offences, designed to result in indiscriminate killings of innocent human beings," he said.

"I am satisfied that life imprisonment is the appropriate sentence," the judge added, noting that the men would receive credit for time already spent in custody.

He said both men have not renounced their violent, jihadist ideology and have shown no remorse.


(John Norris, Jaser's lawyer) said he was disappointed with the outcome of the case and already had instructions to appeal both  Jaser's conviction and sentence.

"We do view it as excessive," Norris said of the sentence, adding that Jaser was "somewhat stunned" by Wednesday's developments ....
More via link
For these two, its a shame that life wouldn't really be a lifetime.  They always will be a threat to society as far as I'm concerned.
The latest on our terrorist who doesn't like trains...

Via Rail terror plotter to appeal life sentence

Chiheb Esseghaier and accomplice were sentenced to life in prison for passenger train terror plot

By Trevor Dunn, CBC News  Posted: Jul 26, 2017 9:33 AM ET| Last Updated: Jul 26, 2017 10:17 AM ET

One of the men convicted of plotting to derail a Via Rail passenger train between New York and Toronto is now being treated for schizophrenia and wants to appeal his life sentence, court heard on Wednesday.

Chiheb Esseghaier and his accomplice Raed Jaser were found guilty in March 2015 of conspiring to commit murder for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group, as well as several other charges. 

Esseghaier chose to represent himself during the trial, during which he ranted, fell asleep and spat in court. Questions were raised about his mental health ahead of his sentencing...