Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed at a press conference this morning that presently they “have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element” to the van attack that occurred in northern Toronto on Monday. The suspect, Alek Minassian, allegedly drove a white Ryder for 11/2 miles while ramming into his victims. He faces 10 charges of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder, although the Toronto Police Service reports that he injured 15 people.
At a press conference in Ottawa, Trudeau stated that they are currently investigating the issue, but that Canada does not believe that the attack poses a threat to national security, according to ABC News. This view was also shared by Ralph Goodale, Canada’s public security minister, who stated that their investigations at the time showed that there seemed to be no link between Minassian and terrorism. According to Goodale, Minassian’s attack seems to be “deliberate” in nature.
Trudeau is not in Toronto at the moment but confirmed that he did speak with Ontario’s premier, Kathleen Wynne, and Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, on Monday night about the “senseless attack.” Trudeau told the press that he would be going to Ontario’s capital when “it makes sense to do so.” He pointed out that his presence might deter from the ongoing investigations.
Please RT: Yonge/Finch Incident: Investigative Tip Hotline 416-808-8750 Video/Photo web upload link https://t.co/EqhexWACIJ. Anonymous tips Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477 ~ Family/Friend hotline 416-808-8085 ~ Victim Services 416-808-7066 ^sm pic.twitter.com/JXqXekIhv6
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) April 24, 2018
According to a map based on the 2017 Global Terrorism Index, published by the Telegraph late last year, Canada was not affected by terrorism last year, nor was there a foreseeable risk for a future attack. This seems to be congruent with Canada’s current investigations into the attack which, at the current time, cannot tie Alek Minassian with terrorist actions.
Minassian reportedly drove through Yonge Street, Finch Avenue and Poyntz Avenue, specifically “hitting people one by one,” according to one witness, Ali Shaker. Mayor Tory himself stated that there were “a lot of pedestrians” outside that day. Many were just taking advantage of the beautiful weather the city had on Monday.
The Toronto sign at City Hall will remain dimmed today in memory of all those who lost their lives in Monday's horrific and deliberate attack. Official flags at Toronto City Hall, all Civic Centres & Metro Hall continue to be flown at half-mast.#TorontoStrong pic.twitter.com/38guqMaUqJ
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 24, 2018
According to Inquisitr, Alek Minassian is a 25-year-old college student and is no stranger to Canadian law enforcement. After allegedly striking his victims with the van, witnesses state that it seemed as if he pointed a gun at the cops after unsuccessfully trying to escape. However, the Toronto police claim that they did not find a gun on his person. Police arrested Minassian a mere 26 minutes after the first 911 call was placed.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 24, 2018