In a press conference Monday afternoon, Canadian authorities announced that two Al Qaeda linked suspects – suspects who were directed and supported by al Qaeda in Iran – were arrested Monday morning, April 22. At least one attack was intended to derail a New York to Toronto passenger train. The attack was in the planning stage when the suspects were arrested.
Those arrested were described as an Al Qaeda linked-cell which had been engaged in plans for over a year to engage in major terrorist attacks. Their activities had been monitored since August of 2012. The cross-border operations included the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the FBI and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
In response to questions during the press conference, the Canadian authorities revealed that the terrorists received direction and guidance from Al Qaeda in Iran. They made clear, however, that there was no evidence of any connection to the Iranian government.
The two suspects arrested are Rahid Jasser and Shahid Esegehr, of Montreal. Their bail hearing will take place tomorrow in Canada. The two are not Canadian citizens.
“I commend our Canadian counterterrorism partners, particularly the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for their efforts in stopping a major terrorist plot which was intended to cause significant loss of human life including New Yorkers. During my years on the Homeland Security Committee it has been my privilege to work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian intelligence services and all counterterrorism units in Canada,” said Congressman Peter King (R-NY). King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Counterintelligence & Terrorism Committee and a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.