Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says the man accused of attacking a military recruiting centre in Toronto yesterday shouted “Allah told me to do this.”
27 year old Ayanle Hassan Ali made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon and now faces 9 charges. He was remanded in custody until Friday.
Ali is a Montreal-born Canadian, who has lived in Toronto for the past five years.
He was taken into custody after he walked into a military recruitment centre at 4900 Yonge St. on Monday afternoon and allegedly stabbed two uniformed Canadian forces members.
Ali was eventually restrained by several soldiers and is now facing several charges including 3 counts of attempted murder, 3 counts of assault with a weapon2 counts of aggravated assault and weapons dangerous.
The two soldiers were taken to hospital and treated for non life threatening injuries.
Chief Saunders says the incident could have been far more serious if a group of about eight trained soldiers had not stepped in to take down the attacker.
Saunders says Ali shouted that “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people,” but he Saunders warned of not going into this “Islamophobia nonsense” he says it is a very small number of people that are involved in things like this and it would be inaccurate.
The remarks have led police to look into a possible terror connection.
The case remains a Toronto police investigation but authorities have been in contact with CSIS, OPP and RCMP officials regarding the incident.