Another Monday, another terror plot: Who woulda thunk this Monday would yield a thwarted attack in Canada to bomb a Niagra Falls railway passage from Toronto to New York, links to Al Qaeda and all?
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police held a press conference Monday afternoon announcing the arrest of 30-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal and 35-year-old Raed Jaser of Toronto, the two men accused so far of attempting to carry out the attack. They're being charged with "conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack and 'conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group,'" the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The CBC broke the news of the busted bombing plan shortly after lunch Monday afternoon. Canadian law enforcement officials worked with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to break up a planned attack. Reuters filled in some more details: the target was a railroad connecting Toronto and New York City. The Toronto Sun pushed that forward, reporting that the men were specifically looking to target the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge at Niagara Falls that connects the border between the two countries.
The two men were under heavy surveillance for over a year, Jennifer Strachan of the Mounties said, but there was never any immediate threat to the public — they were planning and had the intent to carry out an attack, she said, but the men were ultimately thwarted thanks to the teamwork of the intelligence agencies. Strachan added that the two men were not Canadian citizens and they believe the plans for the attack were receiving "direction and guidance" from Al Qaeda. Strachan made it clear there is no connection between this arrest and the bombing in Boston last week or any other recent terrorist plot. But, seriously, Canada: First it was maple syrup heists that threatened your economy... and now plots to attack railways? Is Dick Dasterdly your country's only villain?