Yesterday, two Canadian soldiers were stabbed at a Canadian government building which houses a military recruitment center.
Fortunately, the injuries sustained by both soldiers are not life threatening and other uniformed military personnel subdued the attacker.
It’s clear Toronto PD Chief Mark Saunders is trying to minimize what happened, but the cat will soon be out of the bag as this CBC report indicates:
Saunders says the suspect made comments that led investigators to look into a possible terror connection. He declined to say exactly what words were uttered but did state they were “concerning.”
“I want a full understanding of what was said, so I’m not giving bits and pieces,” he told reporters Monday.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told CBC News the suspect mentioned “Allah.” This may have prompted investigators to look into a possible terror connection.
Authorities have been in contact with CSIS, OPP and RCMP officials regarding the incident. However, the case remains a Toronto police investigation.
I suspect that will soon change as Toronto PD are expected to give an update later this morning.
Under the circumstances, I believe it is reasonable to suspect the assailant is an Islamic radical. After all, this isn’t the first time Canadian soldiers have been targeted for terror. Before being gunned down on Parliament Hill in October 2014, the terrorist shot and killed a Canadian soldier guarding the National War Memorial. Forty-eight hours prior that attack, a Canadian soldier was killed and another wounded in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec by an Islamist terrorist who ran them over with his car.
Of course, our soldiers are no strangers to these kinds of attacks whether in Little Rock and Fort Hood in 2009, in Frankfurt in 2011 (where two U.S. airmen were killed) and, of course, last July in Chattanooga. Jihadists have also targeted both British and French soldiers.
As such I believe it is safe to conclude that this was yet another jihadist attack on military personnel allied with the United States. The only questions now is whether this jihadist was born in Canada and/or is a convert to Islam.
UPDATE: We now have our answer. The suspect has been identified as Ayanie Hassan Ali, a 27-year old Muslim man born in Montreal but moved to Toronto in 2011. During the attack, Ali said, “Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to come here and kill people,’”
However, Chief Saunders made a point of lecturing Torontonians & Canadians at large. “I want to be very, very careful, when it comes to the national security piece, that we don’t go 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.”
Given the fact that Canadian, British, French & American soldiers have been targeted for attacks by jihadists at military facilities or at military events how exactly is it Islamophobic to conclude this was yet another attack of terror motivated by Islamist ideology?
It isn’t every Muslim that will attack military personnel, but a critical mass will and Ayanie Hassan Ali is among this critical mass. Chief Saunders and all public officials do a public disservice by pretending this critical mass doesn’t exist.
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