“The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation adds that the suspects were under investigation for over a year before brought into custody, and assistance was provided by entities on both sides of the border including the United States’ FBI and Department of Homeland Security Department, although the plot itself involved attacking a train on Canadian soil.
Police do not believe the plot is related to the terrorist attack in Boston, Massachusetts last week that left three people dead, but do allege that the Canadian operation was to some extent supported by an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iran. Iranian authorities, however, have vowed Tehran has no links to the group.
“This is the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in my 64 years,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said, as quoted by ISNA news agency. He added that any suggestion that Al-Qaeda is linked to Iran is “truly ridiculous.”
“Officials said the alleged plot had support from al-Qaeda in Iran, although there was no sign of state sponsorship.
Canadian authorities said the two suspects were arrested in Montreal and Toronto on Monday.
Iran has denied any links with the two suspects.
Al-Qaeda – a militant Salafist Islamic movement – preaches a radical anti-Shia ideology that is seen as placing it firmly at odds with Shia Iran.
According to the US, Saif al-Adel’s father-in-law, Mustafa Hamid, is the link between al-Qaeda and the Iranian government.
After the fall of the Taliban, he is said to have negotiated the safe relocation of several senior al-Qaeda members and their families to Iran. In mid-2003, he was arrested by the Iranian authorities.