Canadian Authorities Arrests Two on Terrorism-Related Charges

OTTAWA – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on April 22 arrested two people in connection”with conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train,” the law enforcement agency said.

RCMP said they disrupted the threat early. While the RCMP believed that these individuals had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts, there was no imminent threat to the general public, rail employees, train passengers or infrastructure.

The two accused, Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who live in the Montreal and Toronto area were conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train. Charges include conspiring to carry out an attack against, and conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group.

The RCMP investigation named Project SMOOTH, was coordinated by RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) in Montreal and Toronto with the close collaboration of domestic partners and the FBI.

“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,” Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, responsible for Federal Policing Operations, said in a statement. “A meaningful response to these threats begins on Canadian streets and in Canadians homes and the RCMP works with all their partners, including communities across Canada, in the fight against terrorism.”

The accused have been charged under sections 248, 235 (1), 83.2, 83.18, 83.21 of the Criminal Code of Canada, police said.