Toronto Police: Islamist Motivation Behind Canadian Recruitment Center Attack
A top police official has alleged an Islamist motivation in Monday’s attack on a military recruitment center in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters at a press conference Tuesday morning that Ayanie Hassan Ali, the 27-year-old accused in the case, said, “Allah told me to do this. Allah told me to kill people” during the attack.
Saunders also said that Ali was taken to a mental hospital but appeared “non-responsive” when questioned.
A bulletin issued to members of the Toronto Police Service following the attack cautioned officers against “potential sympathizers or lone-actors,” and asked them to “maintain heightened vigilance for suspicious behavior.”
US intelligence officials say similar concerns have reached the United States military, the Investigative Project on Terrorism has learned. For the past several months, soldiers have been told to remove their uniforms when they are off base.
Ali, the suspect in Monday’s attack, was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto in 2011. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. News reports said Ali walked into the recruiting office Monday afternoon and stabbed a master corporal behind the counter. He was subsequently subdued by other soldiers but managed to stab another soldier in the ensuing scuffle. Both soldiers suffered non-fatal injuries.
Ali is being investigated for radical connections both nationally in Canada and overseas.