EDMONTON – Canadian Police are investigating two violent Saturday night attacks in Edmonton as “acts of terrorism” after a man struck a Police Officer with a car and stabbed him before hitting four pedestrians with a second vehicle.
The traffic officer and pedestrians were taken to the hospital for treatment of multiple injuries, police said. Further details on their condition were not immediately available.
According to Edmonton Police Chief, Rod Knecht, at around 8:15 pm on Saturday night, a white Chevrolet Malibu rammed through a barricade into a Police vehicle near Commonwealth Stadium where a Police Officer had been working to control traffic for a football game.
“A man believed to be 30-years old then jumped out of his vehicle and viciously attacked the Edmonton Police Service member with a knife. A struggle ensured, during which the male suspect stabbed the Officer several times before fleeing the scene on foot,” said Police Chief Knecht to CBC.
Police later stopped a U-Haul truck driver at a roadside checkpoint who, through an identity check, matched that of an earlier suspect and the driver of the white Chevrolet Malibu.
The attacker, later identified as 30-year old Abdulahi Hasan Sharif then took off again this time using the U-Haul truck as a weapon to strike pedestrians through streets filled with bar patrons and football fans. The chase only ended after the rental moving van struck 4 passengers and flipped on its side.
“Based on evidence at the scenes and the actions of the suspect…it was determined that these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism,” said Knecht who also confirmed that a black ISIS flag had been seized from a car where the Police was attacked.
The incident triggered lots of emotions and torrents of hate messages on social media mainly targeted towards the Muslim community. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Canadian Prime Minister condemned the attacks but also called for peace and unity, urging the public to avoid lashing out.
“The horrific events last night in downtown Edmonton have eft us shocked and angry,” she said in a statement. “It’s left us shocked at the indiscriminate cruelty and angry that someone might target their hatred at places where we gather with our families and friend.”
The man is now in custody and according to Police, appears to have acted alone. Although an Islamic State flag was found inside the vehicle where the officer was attacked, Police say the violent incident is being investigated as a terrorist attack.
Timeline of Recent Terror Attacks in Canada
September 30, 2017: A 30-year old Toronto-area Abdula Sarif drove his Chevrolet Malibu through a Police barricade and viciously attacked a Police Officer with a knife before running away on foot. He later ran mowed down 4 people in another vehicle, a rented U-Haul truck before it flipped over and he was apprehended. An ISIS flag was found in his white Malibu.
June 3, 2017: A 32-year old Toronto-area woman, Rehab Dughmosh, attacked several people with a golf club at a Canadian Tire store and pulled a large knife out from her clothes. She was later charged with “terror-related charges” including attempted murder for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group. She was also ordered to undergo a court-mental health assessment.
Jan. 29, 2017: 27-year old Alexandre Bissonnette shot and killed 6 men and wounded many at a Quebec City mosque. Both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called the shooting a terrorist attack.
Aug. 10, 2016: Canadian Police shot and killed terror suspect Aaron Driver in Strathroy, Ont., after he made a video suggesting he was planning to detonate a homemade bomb in a Canadian city during morning or afternoon rush hour. Driver detonated an explosive device in a taxi cab before he was killed by local Police.
Oct. 22, 2014: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot dead by Parliament Hill Police and security after killing Canadian soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and then stormed the Parliament Buildings.
Oct. 20, 2014: Martin Couture-Rouleau was shot and killed by Quebec Police shot after he threatened an Officer with a knife. Couture-Rouleau was wanted for running down Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and another soldier in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Vincent died of his injuries.
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