Breaking: Canada busts terrorist plot in Quebec; Update: Two in custody; Update: Targeted Niagara Falls train; Update: AQ plot

posted at 2:12 pm on April 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Not too many details yet, but the coincidental timing to the Boston Marathon bombings make this even more of an eyebrow-raiser:

Canadian police and intelligence agencies will announce later today they have thwarted a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, arresting suspects in Ontario and Quebec, CBC News has learned.

Highly placed sources tell CBC News the alleged plotters have been under surveillance for more than a year in Quebec and southern Ontario.

The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The arrests Monday morning were co-ordinated and executed by a special joint task force of RCMP and CSIS anti-terrorism units, combined with provincial and municipal police forces in Ontario and Quebec.

Authorities tell CBC News that this has no connection to the Boston attack.  No motive or target(s) have yet been released, but the CBC is already referring to the Toronto 18 case from 2006, an Islamist plot to conduct a major terrorist attack in Canada.

Stand by for more details as they emerge.

Update: The RCMP has two people under arrest in a “bomb plot,” according to the Globe and Mail, but the report also notes this toward the end:

Several Muslim community leaders were called by Mounties early Monday to drop what they were doing and come at 2:30 p.m. to the RCMP police station near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

The G&M also reports that their sources indicate a smaller conspiracy than the Toronto 18.

Update: The RCMP will hold a presser at 3:15 ET.

Update: This explains why the FBI was involved:

A potential bomb plot on a passenger train over the Niagara River has been averted, a police source says. …

One police source said there were several scenarios being looked at during the year the suspects were tracked, including the train plot.

One of the plots uncovered by the RCMP and other agencies was a planned bombing of a passenger train on the bridge that connects Canada and the United States at Niagara Falls, a police source says.

“The plan was to take out a train with passengers on board and the crossing trestle,” said a source. “It was meant to be spectacular and there would have been a lot of carnage.”

That sounds like al-Qaeda’s MO — attacking transportation targets for maximum visibility.  We’ll see whether that’s the case when Canada holds its presser.

Update: I was correct about it being an al-Qaeda plot:

Update: Canada names the two terrorist suspects now in custody:

Canadian police and intelligence agencies have made two arrests in connection with a planned major terrorist attack to derail a Via Rail passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area. Two suspects are in custody, one arrested in Toronto and one in Montreal, following an RCMP counter-terrorism investigation.

At an afternoon news conference, the RCMP named the suspects as Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, neither of whom are Canadian citizens, and said they were linked to al-Qaeda.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said that while the suspects had the capacity and intent to carry out an attack, there was no imminent threat to the general public, rail employees, train passengers or infrastructure.

Search warrants are being executed now.

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Several Muslim community leaders were called by Mounties early Monday to drop what they were doing and come at 2:30 p.m. to the RCMP police station

Now why would they do this when the perps are right wing extremist TEA partiers?

Canada……Quebec
Quebec…….France
Algeria……former French colony
French…….France
France…….Youth riots
Youths riots…….Islam

back to square one

Limerick on April 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Yep, there’s just six degrees of separation between violence and Islam (and often much fewer!).

Odysseus on April 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Bad move for the terrorists. Canada’s greatest use, from soviet spies of the cold war to today’s AQ infiltrators is as an easy port of entry into the US (and I say this as a loyal Canadian ally of the US who laments this state of affairs).

By making it clear to Canadians that the war on islamic extremism is our fight too, they risk making Canada a stronger more effective ally of “the great satan” and less useful to them.

Alberta_Patriot on April 22, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Islam rears its ugly rear-head again.
Muzzies rear their ugly rear-heads again.
Jihad rears its ugly rear-head again.

SparkPlug on April 22, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Actually, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper (Conservative) kicked the Iranian Embassy ambassador and officials out of Canada some months ago.

And Canada DOES allow guns! You just have to, as in the US, have a permit. Of course, no criminal would ever dream of obtaining a permit.

But notice how the RCMP and other Canadians did not hesitate to use the word ‘terrorist’ (forbidden by Obama and his man-caused disasters). Nor did they reject linking it to Al Qaeda (which Obama claims to have, Himself, defeated and marginalized).

ETAB on April 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Several Muslim community leaders were called by Mounties early Monday to drop what they were doing, stop humping goats, take a bath and come at 2:30 p.m. to the RCMP police station.

Smart move Mounties.

SparkPlug on April 22, 2013 at 4:59 PM

And Canada DOES allow guns! You just have to, as in the US, have a permit. Of course, no criminal would ever dream of obtaining a permit.
ETAB on April 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Uh – no – not everywhere in the US. That’s only in left-wing states like NY, CT, MA, MD, IL, CA, etc.
In many or most states, like in CO, you just have to get a background check run, and that’s it – no permit, no license, no permanent registration.
In many states the only “permit” you might need is for concealed carry.

dentarthurdent on April 22, 2013 at 5:02 PM

FBI missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip because of misspelling, Sen. Lindsey Graham says

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/22/fbi-missed-tsarnaevs-russia-trip-because-misspelli/

SparkPlug on April 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

FBI missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip because of misspelling, Sen. Lindsey Graham says

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/22/fbi-missed-tsarnaevs-russia-trip-because-misspelli/

SparkPlug on April 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

And I would guess the terrorists had already figured this out – misspell your name on the airline ticket and you can come and go as you please with nobody from our eagle-eyed DHS catching on – too busy groping little kids, old ladies and the handicapped.

dentarthurdent on April 22, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Must be Red Green and the boys up at Possum Lodge. Edgar is a dynamite “enthusiast” after all.

simkeith on April 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

According to Steve “Red Green” Smith, Graham Greene happened to catch that show in some airport one day and insisted on becoming a character.

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Aren’t the Canadian officials supposed to be going after the “real” terrorists? People like Mark Steyn?

Tzetzes on April 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Aren’t the Canadian officials supposed to be going after the “real” terrorists? People like Mark Steyn?

Tzetzes on April 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Well, they already tried that once, and failed.

Can hardly wait to see what he has to say about all this.

Del Dolemonte on April 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

My Canadian Commando Beavers,have spent the better half of
this afternoon,knawing away at trees,and creating letters,

it reads:

DO NOT TRUST THE FRENCH!!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Cananda……Quebec
Quebec…….France
Algeria……former French colony
French…….France
France…….Youth riots
Youths riots…….Islam

back to square one

Limerick on April 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Limerick:D*mmitt:)

canopfor on April 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Maybe that’s why the brothers were on their way to NYC with bombs in hand–to load up the train on its way to Niagara Falls.

PattyJ on April 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

My Canadian Commando Beavers,have spent the better half of
this afternoon,knawing away at trees,and creating letters,

it reads:

DO NOT TRUST THE FRENCH!!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Hannity started carrying their press conference this afternoon, but gave up quickly when they kept flipping between French and English aay.

slickwillie2001 on April 22, 2013 at 6:28 PM

“Al-Qaeda is on its heels” ~President Obama

BKennedy on April 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

“Al-Qaeda is on its heels” ~President Obama

BKennedy on April 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

They often dress like women to escape searches.

slickwillie2001 on April 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Aren’t the Canadian officials supposed to be going after the “real” terrorists? People like Mark Steyn?

Tzetzes on April 22, 2013 at 5:38 PM

And Ann Coulter.

These plots and attacks have nothing to do with the perpetrators’ religious ideology. People who believe that there is any religious basis for these attacks are small minded bigots. It is a well known fact that the only religious group that commits crimes in the name of their religion is Roman Catholics. MSNBC and DHS

talkingpoints on April 22, 2013 at 7:00 PM

FBI missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip because of misspelling, Sen. Lindsey Graham says

So I guess we have to treat all of our governmental agencies with the intellectual equivalency of say, the USPS?

F*cking wonderful.

Guess we didn’t spend enough on Chechen spellcheck?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on April 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

So have Obama and the MSM had any luck in pinning this on a Tea Party person and/or a Christian or at least a “White Muslim”?

VorDaj on April 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Not sure but I wonder if it’s another FBI type “thwarting” where they find some young ideologue with no means of carrying out an attack or knowledge of asymmetrical warfare but the undercover FBI gives them the inert means and rudimentary knowledge then arrests them. In other words just short of entrapment. Then the FBI pats themselves on the back.

MoreLiberty on April 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

That seems to be the way they get the big majority of their “successes”. Even with all the info the Russians gave them before Boston they couldn’t add 2 plus 2.

VorDaj on April 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

FBI missed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Russia trip because of misspelling, Sen. Lindsey Graham says

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on April 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Be careful about reading [government] health books. You may die of a misprint. – Mark Twain

VorDaj on April 22, 2013 at 7:27 PM

attacking transportation targets for maximum visibility

And busting terror cells for maximum visibility as well?

They’ve been following this group for over a year (according to the story) but just now, days after DHS/FBI get a black-eye for Boston, they pull this one off the back burner and catapult it onto the front page?

bofh on April 22, 2013 at 7:52 PM

canopfor on April 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Hannity started carrying their press conference this afternoon, but gave up quickly when they kept flipping between French and English aay.

slickwillie2001 on April 22, 2013 at 6:28 PM

slickwillie2001:Well,there ya go,haha!(sarc):)

canopfor on April 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Mark Levin said this train was headed to N.Y. City. I was out most of the day, so haven’t had a chance to check websites.

bluefox on April 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

All my Canadian relatives detest Stephen Harper, as does the CBC and CTV. Of course, they love our dear leader. Could we consider a constitutional amendment that would allow naturalized citizens to become Prez, now that Jennifer Granholm is safely forgotten? Then we could offer a trade with Canada, Harper for Obama. We could even throw in a first round draft choice in 2016. My relatives won’t get that last reference.

MichiCanuck on April 22, 2013 at 10:54 PM

US authorities will act like this is meaningless to them, but this was a train from NYC to Toronto, to be detonated as it crossed a bridge. Quite a headline that would have been!

US politicians should at least thank the Canadians for saving them the embarrassment of having to deal with awkward questions about jihadis running around the country plotting and carrying out mayhem (which is normal for their religion-of-peace).

Meanwhile they worry about appealing to illegal hispanic voters, unconsititutional gun control and gay marriage.

Can they find something more trivial to work on? Doping on DWTS, maybe?

virgo on April 23, 2013 at 2:44 AM

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