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RCMP arrest two in alleged plot to derail VIA Rail train

Canadian security officials say they have thwarted a terrorism plot and arrested two suspects in Ontario and Quebec.

By: National Security Reporter, News reporter

Two terrorism suspects charged with plotting to derail a VIA passenger train travelling between Toronto and New York, in what police are calling a “Al Qaeda-sponsored” attack with alleged ties to Iran, will appear in court Tuesday morning.

Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, and 30-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier, from Montreal, both face five charges including a conspiring with a terrorist group, although the RCMP said the public did not face “imminent” danger.

The Tunisian-born Esseghaier is an engineer with a master’s degree in industrial biotechnology from Tunis, according to an online blog that was deleted shortly after his arrest was announced. He studied at Quebec’s Université de Sherbrooke from 2008-2009 and is currently listed as a doctoral student at the Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique, near Montreal.

RCMP officers flew Esseghaier to Toronto Monday, escorting him off a small aircraft at Buttonville Municipal Airport in handcuffs and shackles 10 minutes before his arrest was announced publicly.

Jaser, according to sources, is of Palestinian descent and lived in the United Arab Emirates before moving here. Neighbours confirmed he lived in a rented North York apartment but were unaware of his profession.

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