TORONTO — The trial of two men accused in an alleged plot to derail a passenger train is hearing about how one of them began searching for a replacement for his co-accused after they had an explosive falling out.
Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier face multiple terror-related charges in the alleged plan to attack a train travelling from New York to Toronto. Not-guilty pleas have been entered for both men.
Through secret audio recordings of conversations the men had with an undercover FBI officer, court has heard about how a brief encounter with police on a scouting mission led Jaser to abandon the alleged train plot.
A day later, an angry Esseghaier is heard telling the undercover officer he plans to keep pursuing the alleged train plot, but with another person because Jaser has a “sickness in his heart” and will “impede the project.”
Esseghaier names an Afghani man living in Ontario as a potential replacement, and also says he will reach out to a jihadist contact he has in Iran for information on an American “sleeper” who may be able to help.
The court has heard that Esseghaier travelled twice to Iran and established contact with “mujahedeen brothers” there. Esseghaier has been heard saying one of them was a member of Al-Qaida who told him to purse the train plot.
Jaser and Esseghaier were arrested in April 2013.