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Terrorism Comes to Toronto


By —— Bio and Archives--April 23, 2018

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Terrorism Comes to Toronto

Seneca College student, 25-year-old Alek Minassian has been identified as the driver of the white van that deliberately struck and killed 10 people, leaving 15 others injured in Toronto this afternoon.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders made the announcement during a news conference Monday evening.

A picture of Minassian from his LinkedIn page began circulating in the mainstream media, after police identified him.

The horrific incident happened at around 1:30 p.m. in the city’s north end.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre says it has received 10 victims from the scene of carnage at the hospital.  Five more are in critical condition, with a further two in serious condition.

No word as yet from any source on the child thought to have been in a stroller reported to have been seen by witnesses near the scene of what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack.

Witnesses describe having seen the white Ryder van travelling down the sidewalk at a speed of 70 mph, indiscriminately running over pedestrians at will.

The incident happened at around 1:30 p.m. in the area of Mel Lastman Square, North York in Toronto’s north end.

“Toronto Police received a number of calls from citizens indicating a vehicle was driving on Yonge Street and striking a number of pedestrians between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue,” Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen told reporters Monday afternoon. (Global News, April 23, 2018)

“Yuen said a person is in custody and the investigation by Toronto police is ongoing.

“Global News observed multiple bodies on Yonge Street covered with blankets.

“In a statement from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, officials said 10 patients were brought to the hospital. Two of the victims died at hospital, five are in critical condition, two are in serious condition and one is listed in fair condition.

“A video posted on Twitter appears to show a standoff between the male suspect and police just before he was arrested.

“The suspect appears to come out of the white van with an object in his hands pointed towards a police officer in the street. In the video, the officer could be heard shouting “get down on the ground now.”

“The officer walked toward the man, who dropped the object and turned around with his hands in the air. It is unclear what the object was that the suspect was holding. He was subsequently taken into custody.

“Toronto police are in the process of setting up two telephone lines in response to the attack. The first one will be for victims and their families. The second will be for witnesses.

“Barry Mather, a delivery driver from Bolton, told Global News Radio 640 Toronto’s Kelly Cutrara that he saw a “banged up” white van while he was making a delivery on Bogert Avenue, near Yonge and Sheppard.





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“I was coming out of my van and I’d look and I’d hear this scraping and grinding noise and there’s this white Ryder van coming towards me so I had to jump out of the way.”

“Nick Sanka told Global News he was studying in an area Starbucks when he saw a truck “just running through.”

“I get up, and by the time I come here, I saw someone with blood trailing.”

“Sanka said the van was “definitely speeding” and that the driver appeared to be in control.

“He did seem to have control over what he was doing … so it wasn’t some sort of impairment where he was swerving,” he said.

“He just [drove] straight through – and he managed to make a perfect turn at that corner as well.”

Although earlier reports indicated that Minassian was known to Toronto police, police now say Minassian not known to them, not in files at this time.

Within hours of the horrific attack, a Muslim radio host was already politicizing the tragedy.

“SiriusXM radio host and liberal commentator Dean Obeidallah said in a Monday interview with MSNBC that he “is hoping sincerely” the person who carried out a deadly van attack by plowing into pedestrians in Toronto “is not Muslim” because he believes President Trump will likely “invoke this to try to further a political agenda.” (The Hill, April 23, 2018)

The commentary came as Toronto police confirmed that 10  people were dead and 15 were injured after a white van jumped a sidewalk on a busy street, on one of the first Spring-like days in Toronto.

“Being Muslim myself, of course, and everyone who is Muslim I can tell you right now is hoping sincerely that the person who did this horrible act is not Muslim,” Obeidallah told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. (Hill)

“Because we know what happens. We know the result is a backlash to our community,” he continued. “We know that Donald Trump will in all likelihood — not definitely — in all likelihood will invoke this to try to further a political agenda.” 

Obeidallah hosts “The Dean Obeidallah Show” weekdays on SiriusXM’s Progress channel.  

 


As usual politicians from every level of Canadian government swarmed in with their usual “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families” comments.



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One of them was more crass than usual.


But it is at times like this that sincere prayers are needed for the victims of wanton acts of terrorism.

Sincere prayers from the public at large for all of those mowed down and killed today, for the injured, some of whom are in critical and serious condition, sincere prayers for their family members left in heartbreak and in indescribable grief.

God protect our country from terrorist attacks.


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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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