THE FULL EPISODE IS PATREON EARLY ACCESS FOR THE FIRST TWO DAYS AND THEN IT WILL GO TO THIS SOCIALIZED FEED
Charges against the suspect accused of carrying out the Feb. 24 stabbing attack, which killed a woman and injured another, were updated in court on Tuesday to “murder — terrorist activity.”
The suspect, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was also charged with terrorism for the alleged attempted murder of the woman who survived.
He was already facing first-degree and attempted murder charges, but the development means police believe the incident was terrorism-related.
In a joint statement, the RCMP and Toronto Police Service said their investigation had determined the attack “was inspired by the Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremist (IMVE) movement commonly known as INCEL.”
“As a result, federal and provincial Attorney Generals have consented to commence terrorism proceedings, alleging that the murder was terrorist activity … and the attempted murder was terrorist activity.”
Experts said it was the first time a terrorism charge had been laid over violence tied to incels, a term that refers to self-described “involuntary celibates.”
It is also believed to be the first time Canada’s anti-terrorism laws have been used to prosecute an act of violence by a suspect who was not an Islamist extremist.
A police source told Global News the suspect had said he wanted to kill as many women as possible.
The woman who survived the attack said in an interview she was pleased with the terrorism charges and that Canadians should be more informed about incels.
“I’m overjoyed at the news that they’ve decided to charge him with the terrorism stuff. I hope it sticks,” said the woman, who asked not to be named.
The incident points to the evolving threat posed by the incel movement, which a recent paper said was “flourishing, ideologically evolving, and continuing to threaten more … attacks.”
Almost 50 deaths in Canada and the United States have been linked to incels, leading to calls to treat their actions as a form of domestic terrorism.
Canadian authorities had been reluctant to make use of federal anti-terrorism laws following incidents such as the 2018 Toronto van attack, preferring to charge suspects with non-terrorism offences.
Although the van attack suspect Alek Minassian allegedly told police after ramming pedestrians on Toronto’s busy Yonge Street that he was part of an “incel rebellion,” he was not charged with terrorism.
But the decision to prosecute the massage parlour attack as terrorism may signal a new approach by the authorities, a willingness to bring terrorism charges when warranted, and an acknowledgement that a broader range of groups are active in extremist violence.