A man arrested in a U.S. terror plot in New York April 22 was a graduate student studying chemical engineering at Laval University in Quebec City, CBC News has learned.
Ahmed Abassi’s major is "particularly chilling" in conjunction with other evidence presented against him by the FBI, said CBC’s Greg Weston.
The FBI alleges Abassi was plotting to kill upwards of 100,000 people by contaminating the air or water supply in a major U.S. city. However, the plan did not materialize any further than discussions.
Abassi is also being linked to Chiheb Esseghaier, one of two Canadian residents recently arrested in Canada in connection with an alleged plot to derail a Via passenger train.
American investigators have accused Abassi, 26, of fraudulently applying for a visa to stay in the United States to "facilitate an act of international terrorism."
"Abassi had an evil purpose for seeking to remain in the United States — to commit acts of terror and develop a network of terrorists here, and to use this country as a base to support the efforts of terrorists internationally," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Abassi travelled to the U.S. in March, said Weston. However, he did not enter the country directly from Canada.
CBC News has learned Abassi left Canada for Tunisia before Dec. 25, 2012. Abassi never returned to Canada, Weston reported.
Abassi had trouble obtaining a visa to return to Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said when answering a question at a news conference.