Canadian police have discovered and interrupted an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to blow up a passenger train. Two men face a bail hearing today after police arrested them Monday on charges of plotting a terrorist attack.
The men, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, had support from al-Qaeda elements in Iran, although the assistance was not financial, authorities said, declining to provide further details.
"This is the first known al-Qaida planned attack that we've experienced in Canada," Superintendent Doug Best told a news conference. Officials in Washington and Toronto said the plot had no connections to last week's Boston Marathon bombings.
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters on Tuesday there is no evidence of any Iranian involvement and groups such as al-Qaeda have "no compatibility with Iran in both political and ideological fields."
"We oppose any terrorist and violent action that would jeopardize lives of innocent people," he said.
Even so, the arrests bolstered allegations by some governments and experts of a relationship of convenience between Iran and al-Qaeda.
Charges against the two men include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. The men are not Canadian citizens, according to police, but had been in the country a "significant amount of time." They declined to say where they were from or why they were in the country.