CANADA: Somali Man Arrested in Suspected 'Lone Wolf' Attack

Adjust Comment Print

The suspect, who had attacked a policeman and rammed a van into pedestrians in the city of Edmonton, was identified as Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, a 30-year old Somalian refugee, The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's largest daily newspapers, reported Sunday.

Sharif was charged with five counts of attempted murder, five counts of criminal flight causing bodily harm, risky driving and one count of possession of a weapon for a unsafe goal.

Police raised the possibility of terrorism charges on Sunday when revealing that Sharif had been investigated two years earlier for espousing extremist views and was found to have an Islamic State flag in his vehicle.

Sharif is scheduled to appear in provincial court for a bail hearing on the sworn charges on Tuesday morning.

The Edmonton Police Service said in a statement it believed the suspect acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages.

It started when a police officer handling crowd control at a football game was hit by a speeding auto that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying five metres through the air.

More news: Reactions to 'Ten Commandments Judge' Roy Moore Winning GOP Primary Runoff

Sharif was arrested after allegedly hitting a police officer at a roadblock at 107A Avenue and 92 Street with a vehicle, before stabbing him, and fleeing the area on foot at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday evening.

The driver then sped off into downtown Edmonton, eventually driving into a crowd of pedestrians on the city's busiest strip, injuring four. Knecht said the truck deliberately hit four pedestrians.

Chernyk was cut on his face and had abrasions on his arms, but is expected to make a full recovery.

"It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related, " Knecht said.

About three hours later, a police officer pulled over an U-Haul truck at a checkstop.

Conservative Pierre Paul-Hus questioned Mr. Goodale in the House of Commons on Monday, saying "Canadians need to know which information the RCMP had on this individual to undertake the investigation". Two suffered head injuries including a skull fracture. The vehicle then sped off with police in pursuit.

More news: OJ Simpson Goes Free; Midnight Timing "To Ensure Public Safety"

The vehicle hit the officer, sending him roughly 15 feet into the air. They then used a stun gun on the driver and took him into custody.

Investigators determined at that time that he did not pose a threat.

He came to Canada in 2012 and was granted refugee status in the same year, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.

"No shots were fired".

"If we hadn't pursued this vehicle in light of the use of the auto earlier to run over a police officer and the history of large vehicle attacks in Germany, Spain, and other European countries, the outcome would've been much worse", EPS Insp.

More news: Ty Montgomery has minor rib injury, could play vs. Cowboys