TORONTO – Crime – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will provide details on a National Security criminal investigation coordinated by RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs) in Montreal and Toronto at a media conference starting at 15:30EDT.
RCMP announced that two invidivuals. Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser have been arrested and charged. The suspects who are alleged to have connections to Al Qaida were plotting an attack on a VIA Rail train.
RCMP arrested two individuals and charged them with conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA passenger train. The accused have been charged under sections 248, 235 (1), 83.2, 83.18, 83.21 of the Criminal Code of Canada. As a result of extensive collaborative efforts, the RCMP was able to disrupt 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 Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Terror Threat Ends with Arrests
Two suspects have been arrested in an INSETs operation. Authorities have been conducting the operation and investigation for the past year. The RCMP are assuring the public that the two suspects were never able to actually threaten the public as they remained under investigation through the period.
RCMP-led INSETs 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.
The suspects who will appear in court on Tuesday are from Southern Ontario and Quebec.
The arrests come on the same day that the federal government is introducing new legislation in the House of Commons to fight terrorism.
“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,” stated Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, responsible for Federal Policing Operations. “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 public is always encouraged to bring any suspicious activities to the RCMP’s attention through the National Security Information Network (1-800-420-5805) or by contacting the police in their community.