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RCMP Says Terror Plot Against Canadian Trains Thwarted 170

Posted by timothy
from the trains-are-big-and-dangerous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two men were arrested in Canada, accused of conspiring to carry out an 'al-Qaeda supported' attack against a VIA passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area. The arrests were products of 'extensive' co-operation between Canadian and US intelligence agencies, who had been investigating the plot since August 2012." From this article, it's not clear whether any actual al-Qaeda support was forthcoming, or whether the accused plotters merely thought there was, by means of an FBI sting operation, as in the 2006 case in Florida.
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RCMP Says Terror Plot Against Canadian Trains Thwarted

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  • Learn and Burn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @08:48AM (#43523833)
    Enjoy the fruits of a civilized guest country then try to blow it up.
    • by microbox (704317)
      Material success is proof that the infidel is soft, and (paradoxically) oppressing our glorious people! The best thing to do with this people is prove the vapidity of their narrative by treating them like criminals in a fair and transparent criminal justice system.
  • by patchouly (1755506) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @08:50AM (#43523867) Homepage
    The title fails to mention the fact that it was the Muslim community, up here, that turned the two guys in. Had nothing to do with the FBI. A few men, in the Mosque that they went to, heard about the plan and reported it to the RCMP.
    • by Annirak (181684) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @08:56AM (#43523915)

      That's not what it says. The article says this:

      Toronto Imam Yusuf Badat, of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, told CBC's Evan Solomon that RCMP officers said they received tips from the Muslim community that led to the arrests.

      This is not the same as:

      A few men, in the Mosque that they went to, heard about the plan and reported it to the RCMP.

      • by tapspace (2368622)

        I know this is /., but geez, split hairs much?

        • by Annirak (181684)

          Maybe I'm being pedantic, but "tips" != "heard about the plan". I'm just asserting that the OP's statement makes the whole thing sound a lot more cloak & dagger than it likely was.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            Maybe I'm being pedantic, but "tips" != "heard about the plan". I'm just asserting that the OP's statement makes the whole thing sound a lot more cloak & dagger than it likely was.

            well, if they heard about it and called 'em up then they were giving a tip when they were reporting them.

        • by asylumx (881307) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:27AM (#43524125)
          I think the point is that the source of info for the article was the Imam, not the RCMP. Without RCMP confirmation, you have no idea if those tips were useful, let alone instrumental.

          It is entirely possible (though not likely, IMO) that the Imam just said that to garner a better public view of his community.
      • OK, but the GP's explanation is certainly consistent with the article. You're not contradicting the GP, just explaining that the article itself doesn't go into detail.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        That's not what it says. The article says this:

        Toronto Imam Yusuf Badat, of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, told CBC's Evan Solomon that RCMP officers said they received tips from the Muslim community that led to the arrests.

        This is not the same as:

        A few men, in the Mosque that they went to, heard about the plan and reported it to the RCMP.

        yeah the other one is more exact. the first quote can be true while the second is true. because people in the mosque are part of the muslim community...

    • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:07AM (#43523977)

      I don't get extremists maybe that is a good thing: but you have a couple nut jobs that want to blow stuff up ... okay. So why can't they keep their mouths shut until they do? I can see if they got caught trying to get supplies or someone to help them but running off their mouths about their plans is just silly. Good thing they do but just saying dumb as door knobs. I agree though the Muslim community deserves to share the credit for their help as they definitely (and wrongly) get their share of the blame every time a problem comes up involving a Muslim.

      Also I agree RCMP != FBI though I guess I kind of get the mistake since the RCMP is often compared as the Canadian version of the FBI. It is quite different though in that a lot of rural areas have the RCMP as their primary law enforcement so they do have federal powers but sometimes are doing local policing too.

      • by ravenswood1000 (543817) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:19AM (#43524065)

        So why can't they keep their mouths shut until they do? I can see if they got caught trying to get supplies or someone to help them but running off their mouths about their plans is just silly..

        For the same reason idiots post crimes they commit up on Facebook or Youtube.

      • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:50AM (#43524913)

        Conspiracies are *very* difficult to do well, that's why they usually fail. Think about your group of friends, they may well believe that what you are saying is right and good, but once you go over the line, there is no way they are going to follow you over it, and they'll turn you in without you even realizing it.

        When you are doing certain things, you're not even going to be able to trust your family and closest friends. Chances are, while some of them will not want to get you in trouble, they're probably not sociopaths and will eventually see what is happening and try to put a stop to it.

        And it's not a simple matter of keeping your mouth shut: it is difficult to be a lone wolf attacker and most of them have some sort of support to get them the materials and skills they need to carry out attacks. That's why al-Queda does a lot of work to disseminate terrorism how-tos on the Internet, but of course, if you have those materials or access them, you could be tracked.

        • When you are doing certain things, you're not even going to be able to trust your family and closest friends.

          The old quotation "Three men can keep a secret if two of them are dead" comes to mind....

      • > in that a lot of rural areas have the RCMP as their primary law enforcement

        So basically that's everything not within 20 miles of the border?

        • Ha, ha. Funny.

          We use kilometres up here.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            > We use kilometres up here.

            Then howcum Air Canada gave me Aeroplan Miles when I bought a ticket?

        • Mah closer to 200. There is rural and then there is Canada rural. My understanding is that northern territories and north part of BC is largely RCMP territory. There are low population areas of Ontario that are ~500mi from the border but as far as I know they still have regional/provincal police. Basically it is up to the province whether or not they end up policing themselves or contracting RCMP do it for them. Probably not a bad thing but I'm not really sure why contracting was an option: local policing i

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Policing in Canada is a provincial responsibility but except for Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, the provinces contract provincial policing to the RCMP. Major cities within provinces often have their own police forces.

            The system works quite well. Places that are big enough to maintain and properly train police forces have them, but everywhere else uses provincially or nationally maintained forces. That way you don't have to worry about how well Joe the Sheriff in Backwoods Nowhere does his

            • by Mashiki (184564)

              That way you don't have to worry about how well Joe the Sheriff in Backwoods Nowhere does his job.

              Except that's exactly what happens up here in Canada. In cases of the provincial police or even the RCMP, if you're on what they call "remote detachment" your office is your house, jail, and sometimes also the hospital and doctors office. You start getting oh 300km or so north outside of southern ontario and that's how it rolls.

              And a lot of provinces are questioning having the RCMP as a provincial police, especially with the mass number of screw-ups, never mind that provincial police aren't the best optio

              • by ceoyoyo (59147)

                "Except that's exactly what happens up here in Canada."

                RCMP officers are rotated every few years, and all receive the same basic training, in the same place.

                Also, your description of working conditions sounds like southern Ontario fantasy. I can assure you that in my home town, about 1400 km north of the latitude of Toronto, there was a regular RCMP station, completely separate hospital, and nobody resides at either one. Okay, technically the hospital has several residents since it merged with the long te

    • by operagost (62405) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:30AM (#43524141) Homepage Journal

      Had nothing to do with the FBI.

      "The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The two men arrested are accused of plotting to attack a passenger train in the Toronto area. The two men arrested are accused of plotting to attack a passenger train in the Toronto area.
      The arrests Monday morning were co-ordinated and executed by a special joint task force of RCMP and CSIS anti-terrorism units, combined with provincial and municipal police forces in Ontario and Quebec.
      Public Safety Minister Vic Toews congratulated the RCMP, CSIS and local law enforcement and thanked the FBI for their assistance."

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Which really probably just means the RCMP called up the FBI and asked "ever hear of these guys?". We tend not to keep huge databases on everybody like the police state south of us.
    • The title fails to mention the fact that it was the Muslim community, up here, that turned the two guys in. Had nothing to do with the FBI. A few men, in the Mosque that they went to, heard about the plan and reported it to the RCMP.

      Also not the first time the Canadian Muslim community has played a central role in preventing terror.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @08:59AM (#43523933)

    Or at least, that's how I picture it in my head.

    • My first thought :
      Who the hell tries to bomb Canada? A country stereotyped by polite apologies and maple syrup.

      Of course, the thought that immediately followed :
      Freaking South Park.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        It was probably someone looking to retaliate for Justin Bieber.

      • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:32AM (#43524693) Homepage

        Who the hell tries to bomb Canada? A country stereotyped by polite apologies and maple syrup.

        Well that would be the same type of people as last time, and the time before that. Though not the same group as back in the 80's. The last dozen or so terrorist attempts have been attempted by "exceptionally devout muslims" back in the 80's we had two attempts by Sikh's, and back in the 60's and 70's it was the FLQ. [wikipedia.org] Despite what people think Canadians have a very thin skin when it comes to terrorism.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Canadians really are polite and well behaved. When I was working in Ottawa a few years ago I was delighted to see lots of people thank driver for the ride when they got off the city buses. We don't have that where I come from. Oh, and when three Canadians walk side by side talking to each other and filling up the entire width of the sidewalk, and they meet a lone pedestrian coming the other way, one of them takes a step back behind his friends to make sure that there is space for passing them. That's unhear

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:06AM (#43523973) Homepage Journal
    Step 1: Hijack Train

    Step 2: Fly it into a buliding

    They'll NEVER see it coming! (Except I guess Canada did)

    • by Cenan (1892902)

      You forgot
      Step 3: ???
      Step 4: Profit!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:12AM (#43524027)

    1) They mention "Al Queda in Iran."

    So...exactly how powerful is a Wahabbi Sunni sect in an iron-fisted Shiite country? Think they have the bandwidth to help idiots in Canada (not the US) do some questionable damage?

    2) Coincidence [www.cbc.ca]?

    • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:05AM (#43524401)
      I highly doubt it's coincidence. What is a bit baffling is why anyone thinks it's necessary. It appears that everyone did their job properly, citizens were vigilant without being vigilantes, no rights were violated and no one got hurt. Sounds like a win-win to me.

      What's worrying is that after a single foiled event, some lawmakers are going batshit and scrambling to get it passed. Here's a little tip: any time a new law is proposed that would seek to remove certain rights to make a law enforcers job easier, alarm bells should go off in your head. Doubly so when the timing is suspiciously exploitative of a recent fear-inducing event.

      Time to write your MPs, fellow Canadians.
      • by alexo (9335)

        The difference is that this time Harper got handed a de-facto dictatorship over Canada.

    • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:12AM (#43524475)

      "So...exactly how powerful is a Wahabbi Sunni sect in an iron-fisted Shiite country? Think they have the bandwidth to help idiots in Canada (not the US) do some questionable damage?"

      After 9/11 Iran actually offered to support the US for precisely this reason, but the US rejected the support and declared Iran part of the problem - part of the axis of evil.

      The problem is, having been cast into this role, Iran then seemed to come to the conclusion that it may as well play up to it. Iran did give refuge to some senior members of Al Qaeda who fled Afghanistan, and by about 2005 there was evidence of both Iran, and it's ally Syria supporting some elements of Al Qaeda against the US.

      It seems to be one of those rather misguided "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" scenarios, which Syria learnt to it's detriment given that many of the Al Qaeda affiliated militants it gave sanctuary, training, arms, and a base to launch attacks against the US and the new Iraqi administration to are now the same folks fighting the Syrian government.

      Alliances change frequently and are odd things sometimes - don't forget that it was only about 25 - 30 years ago that America was funding, training, and equipping Al Qaeda against the Afghans and that even in Libya and now Syria America finds itself on the same side as Al Qaeda in wanting the overthrow of then Gaddafi, and now Assad.

      So don't assume religious differences are enough to preclude any possibility of cooperation - all sides have shown they're willing to back the other when the situation suits. Al Qaeda and Iran have worked together in the past, and even if they weren't working together now, that doesn't preclude the possibility that they at least came from Iran, having gone idle there.

      It's likely, as much as anything, that Iran at least still tolerates a presence of Al Qaeda in certain areas allowing them to retain a decent amount of strength on the off-chance that they become a useful tool in carrying out war by proxy, even if it doesn't give them active material assistance any more.

      • Al Qaeda...

        Imagine how a mother feels when her child turns against her.. and for money..

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        One of the other lessons Iran learned from that "axis of evil" declaration:
        - If you have nukes aimed at important US allies, like North Korea does, the US will probably leave you alone.
        - If you don't have nukes, and have valuable resources like oil, the US may falsely claim you are trying to get nukes and invade your country.

        Completely rational response: Do everything you can to acquire nukes and aim them at the nearest and most important US ally.

        In other words, the Iraq War pretty much demands that the Ira

      • by Jmc23 (2353706)
        Your bowels are immense.
      • by quantaman (517394)

        I could see some Al Qaeda presence in Iran among some part of the Sunni population, but I have a hard time imagining the state itself would assist or hide them.

        At a stretch I could see them aiding some Sunni extremists with the goal of destabilizing regional rivals like Israel and the bigger Arab powers. But Al Qaeda seems an odd choice since they have a history of attacking western powers which is the last thing Iran would want (the less the west thinks about the Middle East the more influence Iran will ha

        • by Xest (935314)

          "I could see some Al Qaeda presence in Iran among some part of the Sunni population, but I have a hard time imagining the state itself would assist or hide them."

          At absolute minimum it's fairly well documented and supported that Iran held a number of Al Qaeda under house arrest since they fled there from Afghanistan, and that some were given greater freedom of movement after a deal that freed a high profile Iranian that was kidnapped by the Pakistani Taliban and that at very least some of those members were

      • by Uberbah (647458)

        Iran did give refuge to some senior members of Al Qaeda who fled Afghanistan

        Citation? Lots of accusations [wikipedia.org] are made against Iran, but most of them are just that - accusations.

    • reThey mention "Al Queda in Iran." --- So...exactly how powerful is a Wahabbi Sunni sect in an iron-fisted Shiite country?
      .
      It's because the idiots who believe these things make mistakes in what they believe and what they write in their scripts. If they want to provoke an incident in Iran, they create stories with their worst possible bogey-man in Iran: hence their choice of AQ, which logic would show would definitely not be in Iran, as your comment so correctly points out. But when you wants idiots to
      • Some security experts were surprised by the alleged link to al Qaeda factions in Iran, whose Shiite rulers have a generally hostile attitude toward the Sunni militant movement. Reuters explained: Iran did host some senior al Qaeda figures under a form of house arrest in the years following the September 11 attacks, but there has been little to no evidence to date of joint attempts to execute violence against the West. However, a U.S. government source said Iran is home to a little-known network of alleged al Qaeda fixers and "facilitators" based in the Iranian city of Zahedan, very close to Iran's borders with both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The source said the operatives serve as go-betweens, travel agents and financial intermediaries for al Qaeda operatives and cells operating in Pakistan and moving through the area. They do not operate under the protection of the Iranian government, which periodically launches crackdowns on the al Qaeda elements, though at other times appears to turn a blind eye to them.

        Source [nbcnews.com]

    • by alexo (9335) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @12:52PM (#43526475) Journal

      Coincidence [www.cbc.ca]?

      From the page:
      Now the Conservative government has a majority and can reinstate the measures on its own, but the Liberals say they will support the bill. The NDP opposes the bill and is questioning the timing of the government suddenly moving the bill into an emergency-like debate, accusing it of "being asleep since December."

      At least there is one major party in Canadian Parliament that's concerned about personal rights and liberties.
      Such behaviour should be rewarded.

      Personal opinion and disclosure:
      I came to Canada since 2000 and tried to be "politically aware" even before I got the citizenship. I never aimed to benefit any single political party but rather aspired to get people to think critically about the parties and candidates, as well as establish dialogs with elected representatives in my riding to try to sway them toward the "personal rights and liberties" side. Unfortunately I have grown so disappointed with both the Liberal and Conservative parties and their candidates (on both the federal and provincial levels) that I now advocate voting for any candidate unaffiliated with those two (independents, NDP, Green, Pirate, hell - even Rhino [wikipedia.org]).

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      I also see the timing as curious.

      In any case an analyst on CBC made a good point. Many of the leaders fled to Pakistan but some fled to Iran. I think they may have even been put under house arrest in Iran. However they still harbored them and apparently were able to still communicate outside of Iran. I doubt Iran as a nation or a people were really more involved (really what to they have to gain?) other than hosting some of them likely to thumb their national nose at the US... As to how much influence or co

    • by bazorg (911295)

      So...exactly how powerful is a Wahabbi Sunni sect in an iron-fisted Shiite country?

      perhaps they had support from Czechoslovakia...

    • by vux984 (928602)

      1) They mention "Al Queda in Iran."

      So far, the Al Queda link isn't that convincing to me, and mostly seems present to stir the pot, generate headlines, and make the arrest even more prestigious than it otherwise would be.

      "Al Queda plot foiled!"
      looks better in print than
      "2 losers plan to derail a train foiled"

      Seriously, they keep mentioning "the Al Queda link", but so far it sounds like Al Queda didn't do much of anything beyond someone known to be associated with Al Queda gave them a high five on the intern

  • Exhibit AS (legal exhibits follow Linux disk nomenclature right?)

  • >> Terror Plot Against Canadian Trains Thwarted

    Not against the Newfoundland Bullet, was it?

    • by PoisOnouS (710605)
      My grandfather was an engineer on the Newfie Bullet. He assures me that any saboteurs would have blown themselves up in frustration while waiting for their target to arrive. D.
  • debated. Which is funny because they got these guy using current laws so there's no need for new freedom removing laws. All the authorities have to do is do their fucking job.

  • These guys have been planning this since last year? What's to plan? What more would it take than a couple of guys with picks and sledgehammers to kink up the track? Perhaps a train buff out there could weigh in on this.

    .
  • The arrest of these supposedly dangerous terrists (as Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety (and doesn't THAT sound Orwellian?) pronounces the previously three syllable word) was carefully timed to happen the same day that the government is pushing through a particularly nasty bit of spy legislation. [paroxysms.ca]The kind that lets the government lock you up for days at a time without charges just because you sort of fit some cop's definition of "terrist."

    These guys have a very spotty record in terms of suppressing dis
  • by crossmr (957846) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @11:18AM (#43525243) Journal

    You mean the poor excuse for a rail system in Canada? Via has fallen into near non-existence in recent years. You might as well try and blow up a covered bridge out in the middle of nowhere to disrupt traffic flow.

    • by Fr05t (69968)

      You mean the poor excuse for a rail system in Canada? Via has fallen into near non-existence in recent years. You might as well try and blow up a covered bridge out in the middle of nowhere to disrupt traffic flow.

      If anything were to happen to the covered bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick I assure you, it would be very disruptive to the flow of traffic.

  • Anyone else having real problems not reading that as "instigating"?

  • Watched the press conference on tv and they said they had no idea which trains but that they were watching many. Officials have idea if they had cross border passenger trains in mind.

    Then you get the NY representative who says YEP Dey wuz gunna come over da boarder n' blow up 'Mericans! (Kapital M!)

    Why do we keep electing these assyholez? Anything to get their names in the paper... for stupid. And they say the USSR was good at brainwashing? Can't hold a candle to US congressmen.

  • Since we now know what Plan "Eh?" was all about.

  • On the heels of a terrorist attack in Boston, and after calmly watching these guys for over a year, the RCMP make arrests just as the Canadian government just happens to be debating a new anti-terrorism law in parliament [huffingtonpost.ca]. For certain political interests, it seems rather convenient to have the al-Queda bogeyman appear in Canada at this precise moment.

    FWIW, we have seen precedent [bccla.org] for the Prime Minister's Office (illegally) influencing the actions of the RCMP.

    • by hguorbray (967940)
      posting to undo bad mod

      Many Canadian conservatives and law and order types look hungrily at all of the liberty and due process depriving laws that the US has enacted since 9/11/01

      I hope this isn't playing into that strategy, but it seems plausible

      -I'm just sayin'

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