Tunisian man arrested in US accused of seeking to remain in US to build a terror network

A Via Rail employee climbs aboard a locomotive at the train station in Ottawa on Monday, December 3, 2012. U.S. authorities say they have arrested a man in connection with an alleged plot to attack a Via Rail train that travels between the U.S. and Canada. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York says the man is a Tunisian national. He was arrested on April 22, after travelling to the U.S. from Canada.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A Tunisian man has been arrested in New York and accused of trying to stay in the U.S. illegally to build a terrorism cell.

Authorities say Ahmed Abassi came to the United States from Canada in mid-March, meeting regularly with an undercover FBI agent. They say he also met with another Tunisian citizen who was later arrested in Canada in a terrorist plot to derail a train.

The federal indictment against Abassi was unsealed Thursday. Law enforcement authorities say he was arrested on April 22. He was arraigned a week ago on visa fraud charges.

Authorities say Abassi was seeking to remain in the U.S. to commit acts of terrorism and to develop a network of terrorists.

A lawyer for Abassi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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