Edmonton police update Canadians to be vigilant, but called for calm and unity in the wake of a terrorist attack in Edmonton that injured five and led to the arrest of a 30-year-old suspect who had previously been investigated for espousing extremist views.
‘Lone wolf’ suspected in Canada terror attack
It is the second major terrorist attack in Canada this year, following January’s shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that killed six and injured 19.
Edmonton police update on suspected terror attack
CBC News identified the Edmonton suspect on Sunday as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif. Police and federal officials would only confirm that the man in custody is a 30-year-old refugee from Somalia and had been interviewed by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team in 2015. But RCMP Assistant Commissioner Marlin Degrand said there had been insufficient evidence to charge him or issue a peace bond at the time and he was not considered a national security threat.
The man is now facing terrorism charges and five counts of attempted murder. Police also confirmed that the black flag of Daesh was found in the suspect’s car Saturday, but he is believed to have acted alone. According to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the accused was on a police watch list, and yet when Edmonton police Chief Rod Knecht was asked if there had been any warning of an impending attack, he responded, “absolutely not.”
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement calling the crime “another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against.”
“We cannot — and will not — let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear,” he said.