- (Photo: Reuters/Mark Blinch)
Update 4.01 p.m. ET: The two men arrested in the alleged terror plot have been identified as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, who are accused of conspiring to murder people on a VIA Canadian railway train, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. The two men were allegedly part of an al-Qaeda-supported plot to attack a passenger train in the greater Toronto area. They will make their first court appearance on Tuesday.
The suspects "had the capacity" to carry out an attack, although the public was never in imminent danger, police told reporters on Monday afternoon. Police confirmed the suspects "were receiving support from al Qaeda elements in Iran."
A major al-Qaeda supported terror plot has been foiled in Canada on Monday, according to Canadian authorities.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that two al-Qaeda supported plotters were arrested in raids in Ontario and Quebec on Monday morning after being under surveillance by investigators for more than a year. It is believed that they had planned to carry out a major terrorist attack targeting passenger trains.
Early reports suggest that the Canadian plot was not linked in any way to the Boston Marathon bombings that took place a week ago.
The arrests took place after investigators gathered intelligence in a cross-border co-operation between the United States' FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, according to the CBC.
It is believed that the terrorists had been plotting to carry out major terror attacks in both Toronto and southern Ontario, according to an unnamed official speaking to the Toronto Star newspaper.
The plotters were allegedly planning to derail a number of trains, although whether the trains being targeted were just national Canadian trains or cross-border trains into the United States has not yet been made clear by authorities. Authorities have confirmed that the plotters had been watching and monitoring trains as part of their preparations for the terror attacks.