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Monday, September 25, 2023

Canadian police prevent terrorist train attack plot

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have arrested and charged two men who they believe were planning to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Montreal and Toronto respectively, were arrested as part of an investigation named Project Smooth, which was led by the RCMP alongside domestic partners and the FBI.

The two men were not Canadian citizens and the planned attack is believed to have links with terrorist group al-Qaida.

RCMP said in a statement: “As a result of extensive collaborative efforts, the RCMP was able to disrupt the threat early.

“While the RCMP believed that these individuals had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts, there was no imminent threat to the general public, rail employees, train passengers or infrastructure.”

Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, responsible for Federal Policing Operations, said: “Each and every terrorist arrest the RCMP makes sends a message and illustrates our strong resolve to root out terrorist threats and keep Canadians and our allies safe.

“A meaningful response to these threats begins on Canadian streets and in Canadians’ homes and the RCMP works with all their partners, including communities across Canada, in the fight against terrorism.”

VIA Rail said in a statement: “Thanks to an unprecedented cooperation between law enforcement and the security units of various departments, VIA Rail and CN, at no time was there an imminent threat to the VIA Rail passengers, employees or the general public.

“We cooperate with all involved in ensuring the safety and security of our passengers, our employees and the public.”


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