spies, national security, espionage, counterterrorism, u.s. foreign policy, intelligence operations, CIA, special forces, counterterrorism, terrorism

Monday, April 22, 2013

Alleged Railway Saboteur May Be Advanced Biological Engineer


One of the suspects in an alleged terrorist plot to blow up a Canadian railway line may be the same man as listed as a Tunis-born biological engineer at a prestigious research institute in Quebec, who features an al Qaeda banner on his Linked-in web site.

Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, were planning to sabotage tracks of Canada’s VIA passenger line that runs from Toronto toward New York authorities said.

"Had this plot been carried out it would have resulted in innocent people being killed or seriously injured," Royal Canadian Mounted Police official James Malizia told reporters.

A man named Chiheb Esseghaier lists himself as a PhD candidate at the Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique in Quebec. He has written extensively on advanced biological engineering topics, including viruses, at INRS and earlier as a graduate student at Sherbrooke University during 2008-2009, according to his Linked-in profile.

Punditpress also captured a photo of Esseghaier with other INRS researchers, standing ninth in from the left.

Esseghaier described his academic background on a personal website (which now appears to have been taken down).

"Born in Tunis, Tunisia. I got Engineer degree in Industrial Biology from Institut National des Sciences Appliquées et de Technologie (INSAT), Tunis in 2007. After that, I continue master studies at the same institute in Industrial Biotechnology field and i got the MSc degree in 2008. Then, i moved to Sherbrooke University to work on research project on SPR biosensor and gallium arsenide semi-conductor biofunctionnalization. In November 2010, I joined BBBL lab in Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) to start PhD program in developing optical and electrochemical biosensors."

The punditpress web site listed his full academic accomplishments.