|VIA train [Image Source]|
Canada is at just such a moment today. About two hours ago, the Canadian media reported on what sounds like a serious and major attempt by terrorists to bomb and derail a New York to Toronto passenger train. A press release issued by the RCMP says the accused had the "capacity and intent to carry out" their plan. They will appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday). Canadian police say "direction and guidance" for the plot came from Al-Qaeda in Iran.
It's too soon for the full background to be publicly known. The men arrested remain, at this moment, faceless and mostly anonymous, though their names are public.
RCMP arrest two for 'al-Qaeda-supported' plot to bomb Via train Published Monday, Apr. 22 2013, 2:12 PM | The RCMP says police have arrested two people in Canada in connection with a plot to bomb a passenger train. The alleged conspiracy was "an al-Qaeda-supported" plot, Assistant Commissioner James Malizia told reporters. The two accused are Chiheb Esseghaier of Montreal and Raed Jaser of Toronto, the RCMP said. An RCMP official confirmed a report, first carried by Reuters, that the pair allegedly targeted a train between Toronto and New York. However, in a press release, the RCMP said it was a Via Rail train. The arrests are the third recent set of terrorism allegations involving Canadian citizens. The RCMP has been investigating a group of students from the same high school in London, Ont. Two of them, Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, died in last January’s terrorist attack at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria. A friend of the duo, Aaron Yoon, is serving a two-year terrorism-related sentence in Mauritania while a fourth London man, Mujahid Enderi, is still being sought by police. At the same time, officials are also investigating whether another Canadian, a former York University student from Markham, Ont., joined Somalia’s Al Shabab insurgency and was part of a team of suicide bombers who attacked Mogadishu’s courthouse earlier this month.CBC, quoting "highly placed sources", says the suspected terrorists were under surveillance for more than a year.
Sections of the media are likely to shortly launch into the customary ill-focused search for 'root causes', but in a nation where the Mounties always get their man, we can expect more of the determination that lead to today's arrests. Al Qaeda was invoked in today's reports, so most thinking people will have grasped that the arrested men are unlikely to be exponents of Quaker extremism or Mormon activists.