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Canada Foils Terror Plot to Attack Passenger Train: Authorities

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, were arrested and charged Monday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two men were arrested and charged Monday with plotting an al-Qaida-sponsored attack on a passenger train in Canada, authorities said Monday.

    Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, were arrested and charged Monday with conspiring to attack a VIA Rail Canada train, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

    VIA runs trains in partnership with Amtrak in the United States, and multiple sources told NBC News that trains out of New York may have been scouted by the suspects.

    Innocent people would have been killed or seriously wounded, the RCMP said, but there was no imminent threat to the public or to railway workers. The threat was still in its planning stage, according to police.

    Neither suspect is a Canadian citizen, the RCMP said, though it declined to say where they were from, adding that they were receiving "direction and guidance" from al-Qaida in Iran.

    Police said they had begun their investigation, conducted jointly with other Canadian and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, had begun in August 2012.

    The pair is set to appear in court Tuesday for bail hearings.