Somali-born refugee charged in Canada 'terror' attack

Tammy Harvey
October 6, 2017

He is facing a number of charges, including five counts of attempted murder, risky driving and participation in a terrorist activity.

Canada defended its immigration and refugee vetting system on Monday after a Somali immigrant, who had drawn scrutiny for his alleged extremist views, was charged with attempted murder for a weekend auto and knife attack that injured five.

Mr Sharif is due to appear in an Edmonton court on 3 October.

"He deliberately tried to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys" at two different places, Rod Knecht, chief of Edmonton police, told reporters.

Police arrested a 30-year-old Abdulahi Hasan Sharif after an officer was hit by a auto and repeatedly stabbed while he was working traffic control outside a CFL football game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers Saturday evening.

The driver then got out of the auto and stabbed the officer multiple times before fleeing, according to police accounts and surveillance footage.

Four pedestrians were also injured when they were run struck by a U-Haul van in downtown Edmonton.

"He was in a struggle for his life, holding onto his gun with one hand and blocking the knife with his other", Knecht said Sunday.

He has since been released from hospital and is recovering from stab wounds to the face and head.

Police said they have been in contact with the RCMP National Security Unit and there has been no change in threat assessment at a national level.

Hours later, a man driving a rental van was pulled over at a checkpoint after his name on documents seemed "very similar" to the one police were looking for.

Footage shows them both getting to their feet and the driver running across the street while the officer slowly follows behind him into traffic. Officers smashed through the windshield and tossed in a stun grenade to distract the driver.

Two of the four people injured on Saturday remained in hospital, with one listed in serious condition, RCMP Superintendent Stacey Talbot told a news conference.

In Ottawa, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Sharif crossed legally into Canada in 2012 at a regular border crossing and obtained refugee status at that time.

The White House, in a statement released Sunday, condemned the "cowardly terror attacks on a police officer and pedestrians" in Edmonton.

He said the call was made to keep the high-speed pursuit through the downtown, busy with late night bar and night-club goers, because of the threat posed by the suspect.

"No shots were fired".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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