BULLETIN: Authorities In Canada Say Terror Plot Linked To Al-Qaeda Was Thwarted And That 2 Arrests Have Been Made
BULLETIN: (UPDATED 4:08 P.M. EDT U.S.A.) The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says a terrorist plot against a VIA passenger train in the Toronto area was thwarted and that two suspects were arrested today after a probe that began last year.
Arrested were Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35. RCMP said they lived in the areas of Montreal and Toronto and that the plot had ties to Al-Qaeda.
The investigation was dubbed “Project SMOOTH,” and the FBI played a role in the probe, RCMP said.
“Each and every terrorist arrest the RCMP makes sends a message and illustrates our strong resolve to root out terrorist threats and keep Canadians and our allies safe,” said Assistant Commissioner James Malizia.
The agency said the plot sparked a “National Security criminal investigation” coordinated by RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) in Montreal and Toronto.
INSETs, RCMP said, are specialized multi-agency investigative teams comprised of employees of the RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), and other law enforcement and national security partners at the federal, provincial, municipal levels who investigate all national security criminal threats.