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Canadian police said on Monday they had arrested and charged two men with plotting to derail a Toronto-area passenger train in an operation they say was backed by al Qaida elements in Iran.

“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 in Toronto.

The RCMP said it had arrested Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto in connection with the plot, which authorities said was not linked to the Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three and injured more than 200 people last week.

Neither is a Canadian citizen, but the police did not reveal their nationalities.

A spokeswoman for the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique near Montreal confirmed that Esseghaier was a doctoral student at the research institute and that he had been arrested.