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Canada rail terror plotters jailed for life

The prosecution said the two men planned to cut a large hole in a railway bridge to derail the Via Rail passenger train

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Two radical Islamists who plotted to derail a packed passenger train travelling between Toronto and New York were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison in Canada.

Tunisian national Chiheb Esseghaier was found guilty in March of all five charges against him, including conspiracy to participate in or contribute to terrorist activities.

Raed Jaser, a Canadian resident of Palestinian descent, was found guilty of three of four charges but the jury remained deadlocked on a conspiracy charge.

The prosecution said the two men planned to cut a large hole in a railway bridge to derail the Via Rail passenger train, aiming to kill and injure dozens of people.

It also alleged that Esseghaier, who was doing doctoral research in Canada, acted on instructions from overseas extremists. The two men, both in their 30s, were arrested in 2013.

At sentencing Justice Michael Code said the duo had not renounced their violent jihadist ideology, had shown no remorse and were unlikely to be rehabilitated.

Outside the courthouse prosecutor Croft Michaelson said the sentences send the message "that if you commit terrorist offenses in Canada with the intention of causing indiscriminate killing you're going to pay a very heavy price."

"As you saw with the two life sentences that were imposed today on both of the offenders, the court has imposed a heavy price on them for the acts that they committed."

Esseghaier and Jaser will be eligible for parole after 10 years.

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