Iranian Qaeda connection rears its dubious head —in Canada
Following last month's murky claims about al-Qaeda biggie Sulaiman Abu Ghaith having been sheltered by Iran, Canadian authorities now want us to believe that two guys busted by the RCMP—Chiheb Esseghaier in Montreal and Raed Jaser in Toronto—were plotting to blow up a Via Rail passenger train under the "direction and guidance" of al-Qaeda agents in ...Iran. At their hearings April 23, the men denied the charges. Iran's foreign ministry said groups such as al-Qaeda have "no compatibility with Iran in both political and ideological fields." (National Post, Canadian Press, April 23) This is rather obvious given the bitter sectarian war on Iran's borders with Iraq and Pakistan. Yet the RCMP portrays a "state-sponsored" terror plot.
The sectarian war has also shown signs of spilling into Iran itself, via the restive region of Baluchistan, which straddles the border with Pakistan. Sunni separatist militants have sporadically made trouble for Tehran in this region, while their kindred on the Pakistani side have been waging a grisly jihad against the Shi'ite Hazara. In the latest attack, the same day as court hearings in Canada, a car bomb aimed at a Hazara politician missed him but killed four others in Quetta, capital of Pakistani Baluchistan. The intended target was seemingly Abdul Khaliq Hazara, head of the Hazara Democratic Party, said police officer Fiyaz Sumbal. The politician was not harmed, but 26 were wounded on top of the four slain—two paramilitary troops and two passers-by. (AP)