Canada once tried to deport one of two men arrested this week on suspicion of what police say was an Al-Qaeda-backed plot to derail a Canadian passenger train, public broadcaster CBC said Thursday.
Raed Jaser, 35, and an alleged co-conspirator were arrested on Monday and charged with conspiring to carry out an attack as well as conspiring with a terror group to murder persons.
Police said they were planning to carry out an attack on a Via Rail train in the Toronto area, with "support from Al-Qaeda elements located in Iran" -- a claim quickly rejected by Iran as "truly ridiculous."
Few details of the alleged plot have been revealed, but the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the government sought to deport Jaser nine years ago but could not because he was considered a stateless Palestinian.
Citing immigration and refugee board documents, CBC said Jaser and his family -- two siblings, his mother and father -- came to Canada from Germany using fake French passports.
In 1993, the family claimed refugee status but it was rejected the following year.
An appeal by the family reportedly took four years, during which time Jaser was convicted of several counts of fraud and uttering threats.
Jaser was ordered deported in 1998 but a warrant for his arrest was not issued until 2004, at which point he claimed at another hearing to be a stateless Palestinian and was released on bail until the government could determine what to do with him.
Last year, Jaser was granted a pardon for his crimes and subsequently got permanent residency in Canada.
Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, are scheduled to make their next court appearance on May 23 for a bail hearing.