By: Laura Steiner
Toronto Police are probing a potential terrorist attack. Late yesterday afternoon a suspect entered an armed forces’ recruitment centre at 4900 Yonge St. and stabbed one soldier with what police are calling a “large knife”. He was restrained following a brief struggle with several others in which a second soldier was injured, before the suspect was taken into police custody. The soldiers suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Ayanie Hassan Ali is charged with three counts of Attempt Murder, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Three counts of Assault with a Weapon, and possession of a dangerous weapon. He is a 27-year old Canadian citizen born in Montreal. He moved to Toronto in 2011. Ali is alleged to have said that Allah told him to do this. He was reported to have been unresponsive to questioning while in custody.
“Certain comments were made that fit the profile,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said of the potential link to terrorism. Toronto police have called in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.), and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (C.S.I.S.) to aid in the investigation. They are looking to trace Ali’s whereabouts for the last year.
Toronto Police are seeking the public’s help. If anyone has information on Ali they should contact Toronto police at: 416-808-3200 or submit tips online to Crimestoppers through their website, or by phone at: 416-222-TIPS (8477). You can submit through text message by texting TOR, the information to 274637.
Conservative Party Leader Rona Ambrose echoed Saunders’ caution in calling it a terror attack. “While we have no confirmation of the reasons for this attack, it is my hope that regardless of the motivation, the perpetrator faces the full force and weight of the criminal justice system for his actions.” There has been no evidence Ali was radicalized.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his well-wishes to the soldiers. “May the CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) members injured yesterday make a full recovery.” Ayanie Hassan Ali is believed to have been working alone.