Canada terror plot suspect denies charges
TORONTO (AP) — A man accused of plotting with al-Qaida members in Iran to derail a train in Canada gave a rambling statement in a Toronto court Wednesday and appeared to be saying he does not recognize its jurisdiction.
Law enforcement officials in the U.S. said the target was a train that runs between New York City and Canada. Canadian investigators say Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, and Raed Jaser, 35, received guidance from members of al-Qaida in Iran. Iranian government officials have said the government had nothing to do with the plot.
"My comment is the following because all of those conclusions were taken out based on criminal code and all of us know that this criminal code is not a holy book," Esseghaier said at the hearing Wednesday. "We cannot rely on the conclusions taken out from these judgments."
The judge told him to "save that for another court," and take the advice of his lawyers. He was given a May 23 court date.
Charges against the two men in Canada include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Police — tipped off by an imam worried by the behavior of one of the suspects — said it was the first known attack planned by al-Qaida in Canada. The two could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.