[QODLink]
Americas

Canada train plot suspects appear in court

Tehran dismisses claim that suspects who planned to attack US-Canada rail line had links to al-Qaeda factions in Iran.

Last Modified: 24 Apr 2013 01:44
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Two men charged in Canada with plotting an attack on a passenger train have appeared in separate courts while Iran reacted angrily to police accusations that the plotters were backed by al-Qaeda elements in Iran.

Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal appeared in court on Tuesday after being arrested in separate raids and charged one day earlier.

Jaser arrived at the procedural hearing in Toronto's Old City Hall courthouse, but details of the hearing were covered by a publication ban.

Jaser, who denied any involvement, was detained and would return for a bail hearing at a later date, his lawyer, John Norris, told reporters.

"He denies the allegations and he will vigorously defend them," Norris said outside the court, describing Jaser as being in a state of "shock and disbelief".

'Only appearances'

Esseghaier, a Tunisian-born doctoral student at a Montreal-area university, appeared at a Montreal court, handcuffed and in shackles.

He told the judge that conclusions had been drawn from deeds and words "that are only appearances".

Esseghaier was remanded in custody until an arrest warrant is executed and endorsed in Quebec.

Canadian authorities have linked the two to al-Qaeda factions in Iran but they say there is no indication that the attack plans, which police described as the first known al-Qaeda-backed plot on Canadian soil, were state-sponsored.

US officials said the attack would have targeted a rail line between New York and Toronto, a route that travels along the Hudson Valley into New York wine country and enters Canada near Niagara Falls.

Iran reacted angrily to being tied to the arrests. Canada last year severed diplomatic ties over what it said was Iran's support for terrorist groups, as well as its nuclear programme and its hostility towards Israel.

"Al-Qaeda in Iran, it is a sheer lie, a scandalous lie that surprised me," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said according to the Fars News Agency. 

321

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.