Major terrorist attack on Canada averted

Credits: EUTERS/Rebecca Cook


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TORONTO - A potential bomb plot on a Via passenger train over the Niagara River has been averted, police say.

The RCMP said Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser of Montreal and Toronto were arrested for planning the attack. The men are not Canadian citizens.

They were supported by al-Qaida "elements" in Iran, police told reporters at a Monday afternoon press conference.

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Charges include conspiring to carry out a terror attack and conspiring to murder for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.

Police said there was no danger to the public, as the plot was discovered and stopped early.

"It was definitely in the planning stage, but not imminent," RCMP Chief Supt. Jennifer Strachan said.

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The passenger train crosses the bridge that connects Canada and the United States at Niagara Falls, Ont.

U.S. officials said the alleged plot was not linked with last week's Boston Marathon bombings.

The arrests follow not only the Boston bombings but revelations that Canadians took part in an attack bymilitants on a gas plant in Algeria in January.

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It also recalls the arrests in 2006 of the so-called Toronto-18, accused of planning to plant bombs at various Canadian targets.

However, RCMP Ass. Comm. James Milizia said the discovery of support from al-Qaida makes this plot even more significant.

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