Canada column for Sunday, April 28/13
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
The Canadian government has passed a tougher anti-terrorism bill just after police arrested two men for plotting to blow up a New York-Toronto passenger train.
Civil-rights’ advocates oppose the bill that gives authorities more powers to detain and question suspected terrorists and prohibit them from leaving Canada to commit terrorism crimes.
The Mounties arrested Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal in what they said was a terrorist plot guided by al-Qaida in Iran.
A year-long investigation alleged the two were conspiring to derail a passenger train that sources said was the Amtrak-Via Rail Canada Maple Leaf train over the Niagara Gorge bridge in Niagara Falls.
New York congressman Peter King said that Canada-U.S. counterterrorism partners prevented a “major terrorist plot, which was intended to cause significant loss of human life, including New Yorkers.”
Immigration documents show Canada wanted to deport Jaser in 2004 for criminal offenses but didn’t because he was a “stateless” Palestinian.
When both were remanded in custody for a bail hearing next month, Esseghaier, a Tunisian, told the judge he doesn’t recognize Canadian laws because they are “not a holy book.”