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Two Canadian Terror Suspects Arrested at Peace Bridge

By Staff (Associated Press Contributed)

Buffalo, NY – Two of the 17 people arrested in the Toronto area over the weekend on terrorism charges were already in prison on weapons smuggling charges. They had been arrested at the Peace Bridge last summer.

Mohammed Dirie, 22, and Yasin Abdi Mohamed, 24, already were in jail serving two-year sentences for weapons smuggling when they were hit with new Canadian terrorism charges Friday. T he men were among 12 adults and five suspects younger than 18 charged with plotting an attack in southern Ontario.

"We're watching the situation 24/7. We're monitoring it very closely," U.S. Attorney Terrance Flynn said.

The group acquired three tons of ammonium nitrate from undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in a sting operation, the Toronto Star has reported. The fertilizer can be mixed with fuel oil or other ingredients to make a bomb. That is three times the amount used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said assistant Royal Canadian Mounted Police commissioner Mike McDonell.

Buffalo mayor Byron Brown says the Toronto arrests underscore the need to rescind recently announced cuts in federal funding for homeland security in Western New York.

"People from Toronto, and people who pass through Toronto, are in Buffalo every day," Brown said. "If something like that could happen just 90 miles a day in Toronto, there's no question that it could happen here."

Canadian press sources say one of the Canadian terrorist training facilities may have been in Fort Erie.