İntegrated National Security Enforcement Team, İsil, İsis, İslamic State, Saad Akhtar, Terror Attacks, Terrorism, Terrorism İn Canada, Toronto Homicide

İntegrated National Security Enforcement Team, İsil

Hammer attack that killed woman on Toronto street reflects new face of global terrorism

Hammer attack that killed woman on Toronto street reflects new face of global terrorism

2020-02-27 3:43:00 AM

Hammer attack that killed woman on Toronto street reflects new face of global terrorism

There was no bomb or gun; no improvised explosive device. There weren’t mass casualties or screaming onlookers. And no public panic

While precise details of what happened are not yet known, the broad allegations of the attack almost perfectly mirror the current face of terrorism in the West: low-sophistication, low-resource attacks.“It may be difficult for this to resonate with Canadians as a terrorist attack, just because of the low complexity and low impact of the attack,” said Jessica Davis, a former senior strategic analyst with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

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There was no bomb or gun; no improvised explosive device.There weren’t mass casualties or screaming onlookers. No public panic.“We may have a hard time getting traction on this as a terrorist incident, but this is very much the nature of terrorism these days in Canada and in many other countries,” Davis said.

Hang-Kam Annie Chiu was walking along Sheppard Ave. E. near Markham Rd. Friday around 7 p.m., when attacked by a man armed with a hammer, Toronto police said. Police received calls for a possible medical complaint. Chiu died of her injuries.Meanwhile, Saad Akhtar, 30, of Toronto, surrendered at a nearby police station. A source told Postmedia he allegedly walked into the station and told officers he had an explosive device, prompting an evacuation. Police have not confirmed that.

Akhtar was charged with first-degree murder and made an initial court appearance Saturday morning.The investigation, however, soon took an unusual twist.Toronto homicide detectives found evidence that led investigators to believe the attack was a terrorist-related incident. The nature of the evidence has not been revealed, but it must have been stark.

The RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) was contacted. INSET probes criminal activities of terrorists posing a threat to national security.At a second court appearance, Tuesday, the charge against Akhtar was changed to first-degree murder – including terrorist activity.

The Criminal Code says that if a death is caused by an “act or omission (that) also constitutes a terrorist activity” it is first-degree murder regardless of whether planning and deliberation are proven. First-degree murder convictions bring tougher penalties, with an automatic 25-year period before parole eligibility.

Although the charge is highly unusual in Canada, even unprecedented, the allegations should not take Canadians by surprise.This kind of attack is where terrorism is evolving.CSIS warned that simple, radicalized lone actor attacks were Canada’s top national security threat to public safety in its most recent public annual report, released in June.

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“The globalization of terrorism, fuelled by elaborate online propaganda by extremist groups, has expanded the breadth of radicalization and mobilization to violence,” the report says.“Recent terrorism activities in the West have been typically characterized by low-resource, high-impact acts, and usually inspired by terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or extremists responding to Daesh’s call for a ‘virtual caliphate’.”

This is very much the nature of terrorism these days in Canada Daesh is another name for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. ISIL and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups have both issued calls for supporters to use weapons readily at hand, including vehicles and knives, in attacks on the West.

The hammer attack, at first look, aligns with that trajectory, said Amarnath Amarasingam, an assistant professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University who specializes in terrorism and radicalization.“Based on the initial evidence, it seems to be a kind of copy-cat attack. The attacks in London on November 2019 and February 2020 were quite similar and both individuals had on fake suicide vests as well,” Amarasingam said.

“How much of this can be used to ascertain motive remains to be seen, but if it does end up being inspired by the Islamic State, it would be a remarkable testament to how this group continues to inspire attacks even after the fact that most of their fighters are dead or in prison, all physical territory has been clawed back and their propaganda arm has taken a major hit,” he said.

Toronto police and the RCMP, in a joint statement, assured the public “this appears to be an isolated incident and there is no further known threat to the public associated to the accused at this time.”Davis, who is also president of Insight Threat Intelligence, an Ottawa-based private security and intelligence firm, said that, these days, so-called lone actors in terror attacks rarely, if ever, truly act alone.

It becomes crucial for investigators to trace who Akhtar may have been communicating with, both Amarasingam and Davis said.Amarasingam said communication does not even have to be two-way to be a radicalizing influence.The questions are “who he has been talking to, what he was watching and listening to, and so on,” he said. “Given the rapid changes on the ground experienced by the Islamic State, these questions become all the more important.”

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Akhtar’s mother told Global News she cannot believe her son would be involved in the attack. She said he made his regular daily walk to a local mosque and was late returning when the attack occurred. She said he was a part-time computer programming student at Ryerson University and the family had left Pakistan in 2001 to escape terrorism.

Calls to the local mosque were not returned, Wednesday.Attackers needing to turn to such rudimentary tactics, Davis said, highlights the success of counter-terrorism efforts.“Most of the time, terrorists or wannabe terrorists want to do something high-impact, high-profile,” said Davis.

“The reality is building an improvised explosive device is actually quite expensive, getting access to firearms can alert authorities to your plans. A lot of the time, individuals planning terrorist attacks start off with spectacular attacks in mind and, when reality sinks in, they slowly work their way down to what they are actually capable of doing.”

Like, perhaps, swinging a hammer. Read more: National Post »

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But innocent non-Muslims should not outwardly express their concerns about being randomly attacked and killed like a dog. You could be accused of being racist and prosecuted by your own government. I can’t help but wish it hits the political class. Why do they never have to suffer for the bad decisions they make?

‘New’ face of global terror? What other face was their before? Islamist terror. I wonder what the note that was left under the victim said? Bam hammers Keep bringing them and rewarding them. It is bound to happen. Just wait for some more time. woah woah woah. It's only terrorism if it's a Caucasian. This was obviously a mental illness....

No mention that one of Canada's oldest Mosques was 1 block away? Who is the Imam? Who was his friends. Amazing lack of coverage by the MSM on tv about this. Onterrible Incel or religious? Vote now on your phones. The majority of those faces are angry religious nuts all from the same religion of peace. I'd like to know why it's terrorism, this stupid country just picks and chooses charges, why wasn't the Edmonton attacker charged with terrorism?

Toronto man faces terrorism charge after woman dies in alleged on-street hammer attack‘During the investigation, evidence was discovered which led investigators to believe the homicide may have been a terrorist-related offence,’ a spokesperson said Has ANY journalist had the balls yet to go to his mosque to see exactly what was being preached there? Just remember Trudeau said he would take responsibility if this happened Joe86538718 Are we expecting statements from John Tory and Trudeau?

Man accused of murder in hammer attack now facing added terror chargeToronto Police say the 30-year-old accused, Saad Akhtar , had turned himself in after the killing last Friday in northeast Toronto

Toronto man faces terrorism charge after woman dies in alleged on-street hammer attack‘During the investigation, evidence was discovered which led investigators to believe the homicide may have been a terrorist-related offence,’ a spokesperson said Has ANY journalist had the balls yet to go to his mosque to see exactly what was being preached there? Just remember Trudeau said he would take responsibility if this happened Joe86538718 Are we expecting statements from John Tory and Trudeau?

Man accused of murder in hammer attack now facing added terror chargeToronto Police say the 30-year-old accused, Saad Akhtar , had turned himself in after the killing last Friday in northeast Toronto

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