NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The foiled terror plot against a Canadian passenger train targeted a line that travels to New York City, authorities said Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the plot has raised questions about the safety of passenger trains in the Tri-State area and prompted responses from New York City’s mayor and police commissioner.
Raed Jaser, 35, made a brief appearance in a Toronto court room and was told to appear in court again next month. Jaser’s suspected accomplice, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, was scheduled to appear in court in Montreal later Tuesday.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said the suspects had “direction and guidance” from al Qaeda members in Iran, though there was no reason to think the planned attacks were state-sponsored.
Police said the men did not get financial support from al Qaeda, but declined to provide more details.
Charges against the two men include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Police said the men are not Canadian citizens and had been in Canada a “significant amount of time,” but declined to say where they were from or why they were in the country.
The arrests in Montreal and Toronto bolstered allegations by some governments and experts of a relationship of convenience between Iran and al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that no big city is immune to terrorism. But he said New York is probably safer than any other big city when asked to comment about the terror arrests in Canada.