Jury reaches verdict for 1 of 2 men in alleged train plot

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2015 4:56 PM

TORONTO (AP) — A jury said Wednesday it unanimously reached a verdict for one of two men accused in an alleged terror plot to derail a passenger train travelling from New York to Toronto but is at an impasse on some of the counts against the second man.

Justice Michael Code asked the jury to try once again to reach a verdict. The jury has been deliberating for eight days.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were arrested in 2013 following an investigation into the alleged plot that involved an undercover FBI agent.

Both men are charged with two counts of conspiracy and two counts of participating in or contributing to a terrorist group. Esseghaier is also facing a fifth terror-related charge. They both pleaded not guilty.

The jury was careful not to reveal which of the two men it had reached a unanimous verdict for, and also did not reveal how many charges it was unable to come to a decision on.

Prosecutors had argued they were motivated by Islamic extremism and spent months plotting. The trial heard hours of secretly recorded conversations between Jaser, Esseghaier and the undercover FBI agent in which they discussed plans to allegedly create a hole in a railway bridge outside Toronto to derail a passenger train and cause the deaths of scores of people. Prosecutors also showed video of them visiting a bridge.

The prosecutor said Jaser, a permanent Canadian resident of Palestinian descent, eventually dropped out of the alleged plot while Esseghaier continued to pursue it.