Apparent rift developed between terror suspects, Toronto trial hears

By on February 10, 2015


TORONTO — Testimony continues today in a Toronto courtroom at the trial of two men accused of plotting to derail a passenger train in the name of radical Islam.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier face multiple terrorism-related charges in the alleged plot to target a train travelling from New York to Toronto. Not-guilty pleas have been entered for both men.

The trial heard Monday that a rift in the relationship between two suspects seemed to appear as they began hammering out the finer details of their alleged plot.

The trial has been hearing secret audio recordings of conversations the men had with an undercover FBI agent who gained their trust while posing as a wealthy American businessman with radical views.

The trial heard that while scouting a railway bridge outside Toronto, Jaser appears to express his doubts to the undercover agent in a moment when Esseghaier isn’t around.

Esseghaier, however, is animated at the thought of the plan progressing, and suggests using a high intensity torch to damage the bridge.

The alleged plan was to derail a train by targeting a railway bridge in December 2012, court has heard.

Videos of the scouting trip the three men made to the bridge in late September — which were played in court — show a large metal structure, with two railway tracks and a shallow waterway beneath.

Jaser, Esseghaier and the undercover officer are seen walking along the railway tracks to the bridge and are then observed standing on the railway bridge, examining the structure.

Jaser and Esseghaier were arrested in April 2013.