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Muslims helped foil Canadian/US terror plot......

Posted by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM
  • 4 Replies

 

Muslims helped foil alleged Canada train bomb plot

Trains originating in the U.S. were among the possible targets, NBC News has learned. Authorities say there was never any imminent danger to the public. NBC's Stephanie Gosk reports.

By Ian Johnston, Staff Writer, NBC News

Muslims helped foil an alleged al Qaeda-backed plot to blow up a rail line between the United States and Canada, according to a community leader and police.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday that it had arrested Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, of Toronto, over what sources said was a plan to derail a train from the United States after it had crossed the border.

Esseghaier, 30, a doctoral student, and Jaser, 35, were due to appear in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing. They are not Canadian citizens; authorities have not revealed their nationalities.

Several sources told NBCNewYork.com that Amtrak trains out of New York City may have been scouted by the suspects.

Muhammad Robert Heft, a Muslim community leader in the Scarborough area of Canada's biggest city, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that he expected ordinary Muslims would experience problems because of the allegations.

But he said Muslims had helped the security services detain the suspects.

Canadian authorities hold a press conference after two men were arrested and charged in an alleged "al Qaeda-supported" plot to blow up a U.S.-Canada rain line.

"There is going to be backlash," Heft told the Sun. "But I want to reiterate. Who was the one who tipped the RCMP off? It was our community."

"We have to be on the front lines," he said. "To either nip it in the bud in the very beginning or co-operate with authorities so they can be brought to justice."

"In our community we may look a little different, but in our hearts we love Canada. It's our country. It's our tribe," he added. "We want safety for all Canadians regardless of their religion."

Police also said a tip from the Muslim community had helped their year-long investigation, Reuters reported.

"Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured," Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Assistant Commissioner James Malizia told reporters.

"The individuals were receiving support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran," he said.

Malizia said the RCMP believed the two had the capacity and intent to carry out the attack, but there was no imminent threat to the public, passengers, or infrastructure, Reuters reported.

U.S. officials said the attack would have targeted a rail line between New York and Toronto, a route that travels along the Hudson Valley into New York wine country and enters Canada near Niagara Falls.

New York-area commuters like Jason Rivers told NBCNewYork.com that they took the threat seriously.

"I'm always concerned," Rivers said at Penn Station. "I live in New Jersey, but every day I come through here. You just never know."

"Unfortunately, the country's a little bit on edge about what's going on, so I think it's natural that everybody be concerned," another commuter Michael Milch said.

Some security experts were surprised by the alleged link to al Qaeda factions in Iran, whose Shiite rulers have a generally hostile attitude toward the Sunni militant movement. Reuters explained:

Iran did host some senior al Qaeda figures under a form of house arrest in the years following the September 11 attacks, but there has been little to no evidence to date of joint attempts to execute violence against the West.

However, a U.S. government source said Iran is home to a little-known network of alleged al Qaeda fixers and "facilitators" based in the Iranian city of Zahedan, very close to Iran's borders with both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The source said the operatives serve as go-betweens, travel agents and financial intermediaries for al Qaeda operatives and cells operating in Pakistan and moving through the area.

They do not operate under the protection of the Iranian government, which periodically launches crackdowns on the al Qaeda elements, though at other times appears to turn a blind eye to them.

Reuters contributed to this report.



by on Apr. 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM
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Replies (1-4):
romalove
by Roma on Apr. 23, 2013 at 7:48 AM
1 mom liked this

We are all in this together, the quicker we "get" that the safer we will all be.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Apr. 23, 2013 at 8:00 AM
1 mom liked this

Yep. DH and I had an interesting conversation about this last night. As you know, he's Canadian. He seemed shocked when it first came out that there was a terror plot in Canada. Then when it came out that the train was headed into the US, he wasn't surprised. He said that Canada isn't the target of this kind of nonsense because it is a very culturally-diverse country that is accepting of all people. And he's right. The US used to be very welcoming of immigrants. Not so much anymore.....

Quoting romalove:

We are all in this together, the quicker we "get" that the safer we will all be.



romalove
by Roma on Apr. 23, 2013 at 8:05 AM


Quoting cjsbmom:

Yep. DH and I had an interesting conversation about this last night. As you know, he's Canadian. He seemed shocked when it first came out that there was a terror plot in Canada. Then when it came out that the train was headed into the US, he wasn't surprised. He said that Canada isn't the target of this kind of nonsense because it is a very culturally-diverse country that is accepting of all people. And he's right. The US used to be very welcoming of immigrants. Not so much anymore.....

Quoting romalove:

We are all in this together, the quicker we "get" that the safer we will all be.


You will not find a more diverse place than where I live.  I think the US is so large and each place is so different that it is hard to generalize.  Living in Central NJ where I am is as different from living in rural Alabama as it is from living in Syria.

Canada has been a funnel to the US for all kinds of things for forever.  My great grandfather came to America through Canada, and he used Canada as a way to get the Danish relatives here illegally.

I'm not surprised at this either.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Apr. 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM


Quoting romalove:


Quoting cjsbmom:

Yep. DH and I had an interesting conversation about this last night. As you know, he's Canadian. He seemed shocked when it first came out that there was a terror plot in Canada. Then when it came out that the train was headed into the US, he wasn't surprised. He said that Canada isn't the target of this kind of nonsense because it is a very culturally-diverse country that is accepting of all people. And he's right. The US used to be very welcoming of immigrants. Not so much anymore.....

Quoting romalove:

We are all in this together, the quicker we "get" that the safer we will all be.


You will not find a more diverse place than where I live.  I think the US is so large and each place is so different that it is hard to generalize.  Living in Central NJ where I am is as different from living in rural Alabama as it is from living in Syria.

Canada has been a funnel to the US for all kinds of things for forever.  My great grandfather came to America through Canada, and he used Canada as a way to get the Danish relatives here illegally.

I'm not surprised at this either.

Immigration laws in Canada are strict, but they aren't ridiculously strict like they are here. People do tend to flock there first. 


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