A groundbreaking terrorism charge against an alleged incel

The Big Story


You probably don't remember the name Ashley. Noel are Daca even if you heard about her killing when it happened police tapes around the crime scene here at the crown. Spa near Wilson and Dufferin. An active investigation is underway. One woman in her early. Twenty S is dead falling a stabbing earlier this afternoon and to others. Who are also involved in. The incident aren't hospital. The Grand Scheme of the new cycle at the time it was a small tragedy with victims and violence and a first degree murder charge and a court date to come at some point. The crime happened at the end of February. Just as newscasts were starting to be dominated by the emergence of covid nineteen so the story got lost until Tuesday when the charges against the accused were updated and two words were added right after murder terrorist activity and this is important because I the image that those two words might conjure in some minds is not even close to what police say happened here and second because certainly in Canada and quite likely around the whole world. This is the first time that charge has been used in this way. Every murder in Toronto is a tragedy. Every murder should be covered and every victim should be mourned. And we probably know that. That's not always the case. So what is it about this one? That might leave a legacy that is significant to victims and activists across the world. What might those two words at the end of the charge change in our fight against misogyny Jordan Heath Rawlings and this is the big story? Stuart Bell is a reporter with Global News and he was part of a team of journalists. Who broke this story? Hello Stuart. Why don't you start by telling me what we know about what happened on February twenty? Four th in as much detail as you can well as about noon on a Monday and The owner of a A massage parlor in Toronto Heard some loud noises coming from a back room and she went to see what's going on and a man came out with a believable machete started attacking her. She was actually able to wrestle with a bad and eventually stabbed him as well and so the to them came outside covered in blood. Witnesses saw them. Come outside the storefront Bleeding heavily and police arrived. They found the body of a woman inside at twenty four four year old woman and they arrested the young person who was injured at the scene at the time they charged him with first degree murder and attempted murder but it was always a big question. Mark over this particular killing as to why. What was the motive for it in there were? There was some especially given Toronto's history with the in cells in the two thousand eighteen van attack. There was some speculation. No could this be but it was only yesterday when the charges were laid in court when we finally got the confirmation that in fact Police are alleging that this was an insult attack. Let's start with The victim of the attack. What do we know about her? And I guess about the place where this happened like set the scene for us a little bit so we have some context for for the charges while it's an erotic massage parlor if you read their website they certainly don't conceal the fact that You know there perhaps a little bit more than massage other certainly encouraging a certain type of Clientele. The woman was killed was twenty four years old. She was a mother. The woman who was injured was thirty years old believe she's described herself as the owner of the of the business She had some cuts honor arms. You know sort of defensive kind of wounds. We know why this particular place was targeted. We don't know for sure but certainly from other in related attacks over the years we've seen places targeted for example a Yoga Studio in Florida just because the attacker believed that was a place where he could find women which were really his target right so that may have been the case here as well. What do we know about the alleged killer? Well we don't know much in can't say of what we know. Because he's a youth he seventeen and therefore his identity is protected by the Young Offenders Act. It's just not even possible to discuss anything that would reveal his identity but we do know from our police. Sources that Following his arrest he made statements that put him in line with cell ideology. One police source told OUR CATHERINE MACDONALD A Global Toronto that he wanted to kill as many women as possible. We also heard that. He said he was familiar with the Toronto Van Attacker and the author of what is considered to be the in cell manifesto for police to come out and say outright that they believe this was inspired by ideology You can bet they must have some either from his own statements or his maybe as online usage or maybe both they probably have evidence that certainly leads them in that direction. Can you explain the significance of the way? The police have changed the charge. What does it mean? Well it significant on a bunch of levels. You know if you look back at the history of terrorist attacks just in the last couple of years There was the the van attack in Edmonson. There was The Quebec mosque shooting was the the Toronto Van Attack. In twenty eighteen in all those cases. Either certainly things that looked like textbook terrorism but in none of those cases where terrorism charges brought with the prosecutors did in those cases was basically say We're charging you with first degree murder or attempted murder and I think the the reasoning behind not pursuing terrorism aspect of that is it really doesn't add anything in the end result and it may be even makes the prosecution more difficult. Because you've got to prove the motive. The motive was somehow terrorism related. But I think you'll probably have noticed. There was a lot of push back to that. Why was the Quebec Mosque? Shooting not officially considered terrorism. Why was the the Toronto Vanak not treated as an act of terrorism? I think that caused a lot of confusion in a lot of people were upset so I think it's entirely possible that we've seen a bit of a change here Don't forget three days before this massage parlor attack. There was another attack. There was a woman in scarborough on sidewalk when she was attacked. By a man with a hammer in killed he was also arrested and charged with the same murder terrorist activity charge and he was alleged to have been a supporter of is this ideology so in that case they they did lay that terrorism charge. So I think when you look at those two cases together for probably seeing Abbot of a sea change in terms of prosecutors in police saying look I think it is it is important that when terrorism happens we treat it as terrorism that we recognize it for what it is and you know even though it not change the length of time that the person will spend in prison. It's important for the community to have it recognized for what it really is and I think there's another significance as well and I've heard this from sources over this particular case which is one of the best ways to interrupt. Terrorism is for people to recognize when individuals are going down that path of violent radicalization so for parents for example. We're talking about a seventeen year old in this case for parents or friends or people that are around our teachers people that are around someone to have a better idea of what terrorism looks like how people behave when the radicalizing in into to intervene when they see that happened to get that person help before they end up picking up a a knife for were renting a van and mowing people down and so I think by the hope is that by prosecuting. These types of things as terrorism Dell help raise awareness among people. Terrorism is not just nine eleven. It comes in different forms it can be just a young person online radicalizing attaching themselves to a cause and deciding to go in and pick up everyday objects as weapons and to do something in their mind for their cause. So I think that's the other significance is hopefully benefit in terms

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