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Chiheb Esseghaier Court Appearance: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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(Screengrab via CTV News)

Chiheb Esseghaier, the Montreal man accused of participating in a terrorist plot to bomb a Via Rail train made his first court appearance today. Here’s what you need to know about Chiheb Esseghaier’s first court appearance and new information coming out about the 30-year-old Tunisian native.


1) He’s Declined a Lawyer

Esseghaier made his first court appearance Tuesday on charges of plotting to derail a VIA train on behalf of al Qaeda. He had no lawyer present and declined the offer of one.

“The conclusions are drawn from words and facts that are not what they appear to be,” he reportedly said during the brief appearance.


2) Back and Forth

Esseghaier was initially flown to Toronto, Ontario yesterday but because police arrested Esseghaier without a warrant, he was flown back to Montreal, Quebec today as the law stipulates he must appear before a judge in the same jurisdiction he was arrested in within 24 hours, federal Crown prosecutor Richard Roy told the National Post.


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3) Arrested at McDonald’s

Esseghaier was reportedly arrested in a McDonald’s restaurant inside Montreal’s rail hub, and did not resist the arrest by two uniformed and two plainclothes RCMP officers. One Via Rail employee told the National Post that the arrest was not even noticeable.


4) He’s Described as Having “Diabolical” Ideas

“He was saying things like, ‘When you pay taxes here, you’re only helping Canadians,’ and I didn’t really understand and wanted to say, ‘If you don’t like it, leave the country’,” Faouzi Bellili, who spoke with Esseghaier at a Montreal-area mosque about a year and a half ago, told The Montreal Gazette in a telephone interview. “I realized he had a very different vision and that I was wasting my time talking to him.”


Raed Jaser: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Raed Jaser of Toronto is one of two suspects named in an alleged Canadian al-Qaeda-linked terror plot to derail a train from Toronto to New York.

Click here to read more

5) Extensive Charges

The Attorney General of Canada’s office has released the following list of charges against Esseghaier.

CONSENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA

Pursuant to section 83.24 of the Criminal Code I, the undersigned, George Dolhai, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Deputy Attorney General of Canada do consent to the commencement of proceedings against Chiheb ESSEGHAIER and Raed JASER in respect of the following offences:

1. Chiheb ESSEGHAIER and Raed JASER. between April 1st 2012 and September 25th, 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario, and in the City of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, and elsewhere, did conspire, the one with the other, to interfere with transportation facilities contrary to section 248 of the Criminal Code of Canada, for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 83.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

2. Chiheb ESSEGHAIER and Raed JASER, between April 1st, 2012 and September 25th, 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and in the City of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, did conspire, the one with the other, to murder persons unknown contrary to section 235(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 83.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

3. Chiheb ESSEGHAlER between April 1st, 2012 and September 25 th 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and in the City of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, did knowingly participate in or contribute to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity. thereby committing an offence contrary to section 83.18 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

4. Chiheb ESSEGlWER, between September 25th, 2012 and December 31st 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and in the City of Montreal. in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, did knowingly participate in or contribute to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 83.18 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

5. Raed lASER, between April 1st 2012 and September 25th, 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and in the City of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, did knowingly participate in or contribute to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 83.18 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

6. Chiheb ESSEGHAIER, between September 7th, 2012 and December 20th, 2012, in the City of Toronto, in the Province of Ontario and in the City of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, did knowingly instruct, directly or indirectly, any person to carry out any activity for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group, for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, contrary to section 83.21 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

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