Canada thwarts "al Qaeda-backed" train plot, Iran denies role

Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:43am EDT
 

"He is doing a PhD in the field of energy and materials sciences," said Julie Martineau, the school's director of communications.

A bail hearing for the two men was due to take place in Toronto on Tuesday morning.

"AL QAEDA ELEMENTS"

Malizia said they had received "support from al Qaeda elements located in Iran", but added that there was no sign that the conspiracy, which police described as the first known al Qaeda-backed plot on Canadian soil, had been sponsored by the Iranian state.

Nevertheless, Iran reacted angrily. Canada last year severed diplomatic ties over what it said was Iran's support for terrorist groups, as well as its nuclear program and its hostility towards Israel.

"No shred of evidence regarding those who've been arrested and stand accused has been provided," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday, according to the Mehr news agency.

He said al Qaeda's beliefs were in no way consistent with the Islamic Republic, and that Iran opposed "any kind of violent action that endangers lives".

"In recent years, Canada's radical government has put in practice a project to harass Iran and it is clear that it has pursued these hostile actions," he added.

Al Qaeda is strongly Sunni Muslim-oriented. Shi'ite 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 of joint attempts to stage attacks against the West.   Continued...

 
RCMP Chief Superintendent Gaeten Courchesne (L) speaks during a news conference as Assistant Commissioner James Malizia (R) looks on in Toronto, Ontario, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris (CANADA - Tags: CRIME LAW TRANSPORT CIVIL UNREST)