TORONTO, O.N. (WIVB) - A second suspect in the Canadian terror plot appeared in court Wednesday morning. Investigators say two men planned to set off explosives that would knock a train off its tracks, causing death and destruction.
Thirty-year-old Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal arrived at a downtown Toronto court Wednesday morning. He and 35-year-old Raed Jaser face a number of charges including conspiracy to commit murder for the benefit of a terrorist group, conspiracy to interfere with transportation facilities and participation in a terrorist group.
They were arrested Monday night by Canadian authorities. Police believed the two planned to carry out a terrorist attack using a passenger train along the Maple Leaf Train Route which is the VIA Rail in Canada and the Amtrak in the United States.
Although the alleged plot reportedly focused on the Canadian side, Senator Charles Schumer believes it's likely the attack could have been on American soil.
Senator Chuck Schumer explained, "They're not 100 percent certain, but it seems likely that it was on States side; somewhere in New York state involving blowing up tracks right before a train got to those tracks. Could it have been on the Whirlpool Bridge?It's very possible but not certain at this point."
The route does go through Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Authorities on both sides of the border say the public was not yet in danger.
"They did have materials that would have allowed them to take such action, but those materials were not in the immediately available stage," said Schumer.
The CBC reports Esseghaier was being watched when he flew to Cancun where he was to attend a biomedical conference.CBC is also reporting that a member of Al Qaeda living in Iran, on the border with Afghanistan, was guiding and motivating the alleged suspects.
It's believed both suspects will plead not guilty.
Esseghaier, who RCMP say has no fixed address, declined to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer at the hearing over jurisdiction.
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