Here's a few updates on the Maple Leaf Terror Plot, as I'm calling it, for lack of a better phrase.
Aljazeera is calling it the Canada train plot. Raed Jaser, of Toronto, is reportedly in "shock and disbelief" at the charges. Tunisian-born Chiheb Esseghaier is being remanded in custody in Quebec, presumably until the legal paperwork is done to bring him to Ontario for trial. He was in court today and doesn't believe the Criminal Code applies to him because it is not a holy book. Good luck with that argument.
CNN has more analysis here about the supposed Iranian Al-Qaeda link to the suspects. There are suspicions they are part of a broader network.
I thought of these guys yesterday evening when I was shooting a few engines in the Symington yard from the comfort of my car on the side of the road... thinking I might look suspicious doing that. Maybe I did.
Because I run a web site and a blog about trains, I get a fair number of emails from people looking for information. In many cases people are looking for historical information, like what train their grandparents may have taken to get from point A to point B, or looking for an old photo of a station. In some cases they are looking for current information on train movements or rail lines. The vast majority are innocent and I have little hesitation providing a response. There have been a couple over the years where I've held back a bit out of caution.
You may have noticed that although I publish timetables, I don't publish any recent ones. To me there is little harm in publishing information from 20 years ago but I refrain from publishing more recent timetables for security reasons.
The point is that responsible railfans are doing nothing wrong. We are taking photographs of trains from public areas, not helping terrorists. We are out there looking for anything unusual, and hopefully if we spot something "off", we call the appropriate authorities (CN Police, 1-800-465-9239; CP Police, 1-800-716-9132; or your local police department). I've called CN Police before and I would not hesitate to do so again if necessary.
Keep on keeping on.