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2 arrests made in alleged terrorist attack against VIA train

TORONTO — Two people have been arrested, one from Ontario and one from Quebec, following an RCMP counter-terrorism investigation in Ontario.  The arrests relate to a terror plot in Canada. The two people have been charged with conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA train.

The arrests come at a time of heightened public concern over terrorism following the bombings in Boston as well as recent revelations over the involvement of radicalized Canadian youths in overseas terrorist groups.

Last week, the RCMP said it was looking into whether a Canadian, Mahad Dhore, had died while taking part in a suicide attack on the courts in the Somali capital Mogadshu. The York University student left Toronto in 2009 and allegedly joined the armed Islamist group Al Shabab.

The RCMP has also been investigating two young classmates from London, Ont., who died in Algeria in January while apparently taking part in a terrorist attack at a gas plant. A third member of the circle is imprisoned in Mauritania on charges he had been recruited to fight with Al Qaeda in Mali.

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Testifying last month before a Parliamentary committee, a Canadian Security Intelligence Service official said the terrorist threat had become more diffuse, with regional affiliates playing a greater role as the core of Al Qaeda had been diminished.

Michael Peirce, the CSIS Assistant Director of Intelligence, said groups like Al Shabab in Somalia, the North African-based Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen were the new “sites of power and sites of activity” for Al Qaeda.

“This means there’s a regional distribution of the threat, and that diffusion, creating a regional distribution, leads to a greater risk of individuals travelling. Now there are a greater number of areas to travel [to], a greater number of affiliated Al Qaeda organizations to join, and that has increased the risk,” he said.

With files from Global News