Americans generally like Canada, but it’s the Progressive Americans who envy it. “Why can’t our country be more like Canada? Canada’s nice. People like Canada. You never hear about Canada flying deadly drones over Pakistan.” All of this is true, which is going to make it awfully hard for the Progressive talking heads to explain away the fact that Canada and the United States, working together, successfully foiled a massive Al Qaeda-sponsored terrorist attack against that innocuous nation.
The terrorists planned to attack a Via Rail passenger train (the equivalent of an Amtrak train) as it passed over a bridge near Toronto. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) official James Malizia told reporters that, ”Had this plot been carried out, it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured.”
The RCMP has arrested two suspects, Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto. The men were allegedly working with Al Qaeda to carry out the attack against the train.
The arrest came after “Project Smooth,” a six-month-long joint investigation between American teams from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, and Canadian teams from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Security Intelligence Services, the Canada Border Service Agency, and other law enforcement agencies in Montreal and Toronto.
The timing of the arrests – immediately after last week’s Boston bombing – is a coincidence. The two terrorist plots, the American one that saw scores injured and four deaths (including the police officer killed four days later), and this Canadian one, which was only in its planning stages, are unrelated.
The two men arrested have been charged with conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Neither man is a Canadian citizen, although law enforcement spokesmen would not identify their country of origin. A man sharing Esseghaier’s name, however, is listed as a biotechnology PhD student originally from Tunisia. The fact that he obviously comes from an affluent, educated background is consistent with the Al Qaeda bomber profile.
The arrests follow on revelations that Canadian citizens were among those who joined militants in attacking a gas plan in Algeria this past January. It’s also a reminder of the fact that, in 2006, more than 12 Toronto-area men were arrested on charges that they were planning to plant bombs in Canada. Canada may be nice, but it’s still in Islam’s cross hairs.