Muslim Stabbed 2 Members of the Canadian Military
A Toronto man who attacked a Canadian military recruiting centre Monday said Allah told him to do it, according to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ayanie Hassan Ali, who was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto in 2011, was arrested Monday and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
Police say he walked into a Canadian Forces office in north Toronto and attacked several soldiers inside with a large knife.
“While at the scene, the accused stated: “Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to come here and kill people,’” Saunders said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Both soldiers were taken to hospital, treated and released Monday.
“To date, there is nothing to indicate the accused is working with anyone or in concert with any organization,” Saunders said. “It will take some time to have a complete picture.”
According to police, Ali walked into the recruitment centre, on the ground floor of a large federal government building in the old suburb of North York, just before 3 p.m. Monday.
A master corporal was sitting inside, at a table near the entrance to the office. When the solider tried to engage Ali, Ali walked quickly around the table and attacked him, knocking him out of his chair.
The soldier managed to get back to his feet, only to be attacked again, this time with a knife. Ali allegedly slashed the man in the upper arm, then continued further into the recruitment centre. He tried to slash another soldier, but she escaped mostly unharmed.
While this was happening, military staff corralled a group of civilian applicants and got them to safety. A group of soldiers then subdued Ali and held him until police arrived.
The investigation has only just begun. But Saunders said there was nothing yet to indicate that Ali was working with any outside organization or individual.
“I want to be very, very careful, when it comes to the national security piece, that we don’t through that Islamophobia nonsense,” Saunders said. “I don’t want this categorizing of a large group of people. That would be very unfair and very inaccurate.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his support for the injured military personnel Tuesday and wished them a full recovery.
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