Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 24, 2013

Bridge commission says it knew nothing of terror plot

Niagara Gazette — TORONTO — A suspect accused of plotting with al-Qaida in Iran to derail a train in Canada said Tuesday authorities were basing their conclusions on mere appearances. Iran, meanwhile, denied any involvement.

Canadian investigators say Raed Jaser, 35, and his suspected accomplice Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, received “directions and guidance” from members of al-Qaida in Iran. Iran said it had nothing to do with the plot, and groups such as al-Qaida do not share Iran’s ideology.

Locally, a Niagara Falls Bridge Commission spokesman said there was no indication that the Whirlpool Bridge was the target of any terrorist activity.

”The RCMP did not, have not advised us of any possible threat at our bridges,” said Brent Gallagher, the commission’s manager of agency relations and security.

The bridge commission oversees the Whirlpool, Rainbow and Queenston-Lewiston bridges.

”If there had been a threat, I’m fully confident they (RCMP) would have advised us,” Gallagher added.

Charges against the two men include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Police — tipped off by an imam worried about one of the suspects’ behavior — said it was the first known attack planned by al-Qaida in Canada.

Early reports from U.S. officials said a potential bomb plot involved a passenger train over the Niagara River. It was one of the plots uncovered by the RCMP and other agencies, the news agency Reuters reported.

“The plan was to take out a train with passengers on board and the crossing trestle,” said a source. “It was meant to be spectacular and there would have been a lot of carnage.”

In a brief court appearance in Montreal, a bearded Esseghaier declined to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer. He made a brief statement in French in which he called the allegations against him unfair.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results