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Rail News: Safety

Royal Canadian Mounted Police foil terrorist plot to derail VIA train in Canada

Yesterday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested two people and charged them with conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack on a VIA Rail Canada Inc. passenger train in Toronto.

RCMP officials identified the accused as Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who live in the Montreal and Toronto area. Charges include conspiring "to carry out an attack against, and consorting to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group,"  according to an RCMP press release.

In a press conference held yesterday, RCMP officials said the plot was supported by al-Qaeda elements based in Iran. Although police did not identify the exact route, the Reuters news agency attributed to U.S. government sources that the plot targeted a rail line between New York City and Toronto.

The investigation was conducted in collaboration with other law enforcement entities, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, RCMP officials said.

VIA Rail officials released the following 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. We do not comment on law enforcement activities. We acknowledge the work and dedication of the agencies involved."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/23/2013