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Details of alleged Canadian terror plot may be forthcoming

WBFO News file photo

As early as Monday, we may find out if two Canadian residents had help in their alleged plot to blow up a train between New York City and Toronto. The two are charged with plotting to blow up The Maple Leaf train, working with Al-Qaida elements in Iran. They are in custody in Canada. Law enforcement has been vague in the details it has released about the two men and what they had planned to do.

Rep. Brian Higgins says what investigators have learned may be made public Monday or Tuesday. He says there are complexities in the situation, with Al Qaida, mostly Sunni Muslims, working out of mainly Shia Iran.

Higgins says this is part of the new world we live in and residents of Western New York and Southern Ontario are on the target list.

"You've got Southern Ontario with a population of eight million people and Toronto is an international city. You've got Niagara Falls a destination for tens of millions of visitors every year. You have the Niagara Power Project which produces 25-percent of the state's electricity supply. The Peace Bridge is the second busiest Northern Border crossing. These are all high-impact targets. So, we need to be vigilant," Higgins says.

Higgins is ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee's Counter-Terrorism Subcommittee and receives classified briefings about issues. He has long been vocal about the dangers of Hezbollah terror cells in the U.S. and Canada and says the subcommittee plans hearings on the Toronto arrests and what they suggest.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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