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Ayanle Hassan Ali accused of stabbing at Canadian Forces centre facing 9 charges

From CBC News

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders says he doesn’t want to see ‘Islamophobia nonsense’ in relation to case

Posted: Mar 15, 2016 8:08 AM ET   |    Last Updated: Mar 15, 2016 5:49 PM ET

A man accused of stabbing two members of Canada’s military at a recruiting centre in Toronto on Monday is facing nine charges in connection with the attack.

Ayanle Hassan Ali, a 27-year-old born in Montreal, appeared in court Tuesday wearing white prison-issued overalls and with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The suspect looked solemn and only said his name when asked. At one point, Toronto police spelled his first name as Ayanie, but offered no explanation for the mistake.

Ali faces:

  • Three charges of attempted murder.
  • Two charges of aggravated assault.
  • Three charges of assault with a weapon.
  • One count of carrying a weapon dangerous to the public.

He will be back in court on March 18.

On Monday, Toronto police laid five charges, including one of attempted murder, against Ali. According to Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders, Ali said, “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people,” during the attack.

Outside court, David Burke, Ali’s lawyer, told reporters, “This is a very, very serious incident and no one is going to pretend it’s not.

“It’s a very, very difficult situation he finds himself in,” Burke added. “He seems very scared.”

Burke said he was “not getting into whether [Ali’s] remorseful” about Monday’s attack.

“It will take some time to have a complete picture,” Saunders told reporters Tuesday from police headquarters.

When asked if it was a terror attack, the police chief said, “We’re certainly looking into it,” but cautioned against jumping to any conclusions.

He noted it is too early to say if the accused was radicalized and urged the public against any anti-Islam sentiment in the wake of the attack.

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