TORONTO — A Toronto man who attacked a Canadian Forces recruiting centre in March has been charged with terrorism, the RCMP announced on Tuesday.
Police have charged Ayanle Hassan Ali of acting “for the benefit of a terrorist group” when he pulled out a large knife at the Toronto recruitment office and stabbed soldiers.
During the attack, the 27-year-old had said that “Allah told me to come here and kill people.” Toronto police had charged with him with attempted murder and assault.
Immediately following the attack, Toronto police chief Mark Saunders said there was no indication Ali was “working with anyone or in concert with any organization.”
But following a 10-week investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, police are now alleging the attack was an act of terrorism. Both soldiers who were attacked survived.
“Terrorism-related charges require a significant investigation, which can be time-consuming,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Strachan. “I would like to highlight the efforts of our INSET here in Ontario which worked diligently to obtain the evidence required for these charges.”
The RCMP declined to name the terrorist group involved but the online propaganda of al-Qaida and ISIL have been encouraging followers to conduct attacks in Western countries.
Ali was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto in 2011. He has no history with the police, Saunders said. A relative said Ali was deeply affected by his mother’s mental illness and was obsessed with the Illuminati and other outlandish conspiracies.