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Via Rail terror suspect wanted to trigger Yellowstone volcano, court hears

A man accused of plotting to derail a passenger train in Canada apparently also thought about triggering a volcanic blast to cause a catastrophe in the United States.
Chiheb Esseghaier, accused of plotting a terror attack on a rail target, is led off a plane by an RCMP officer at Buttonville Airport, just north of Toronto, on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – A man accused of plotting to derail a passenger train in Canada apparently also thought about triggering a volcanic blast to cause a catastrophe in the United States.

An undercover FBI agent says Chiheb Esseghaier pondered the possibility of getting the volcano in Yellowstone National Park to erupt.

The agent testified in a Toronto court today that the PhD student from Montreal believed an eruption would cause a national disaster for his “worst enemies.”

However, court heard Esseghaier concluded ultimately it would be too difficult to make a blast happen.

As a result, the focus shifted back to the idea of derailing a Via Rail passenger train en route to Toronto from New York City. The idea was to cut out five or six metres of track.

Not-guilty pleas have been entered for Esseghaier and his co-accused Raed Jaser, who both face multiple terror-related charges in the alleged plot to derail the train.

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