No evidence to back IS claim for deadly Toronto attack

27 July, 2018, 21:45 | Author: Homer Porter
  • It hit home’ Durham residents react to Danforth shooting

The Islamic State Group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Toronto police say there's no evidence at this point that the shooting was terror-related.

Faisal Hussain, 29, killed a 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl in the shooting rampage on a Toronto street on Sunday evening, Canadian police said.

ISIS claimed, through its Amaq news agency, that one of its "soldiers" carried out the attack in response to its calls to target citizens of the U.S-led coalition fighting the jihadist movement in Syria and Iraq. An autopsy on the suspect will be conducted on Tuesday, SIU spokeswoman Monica Hudon said.

Nevertheless, Chief Saunders said, "At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims".

The office of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale flatly stated there is "no national security nexus" to Hussain's attack. Sources say Toronto Police, the OPP and the RCMP have all had an interest in the now-deceased shooter.

A gun was recovered after an 18-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl were fatally shot and 13 others injured.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association says it's concerned that Sunday night's violence in Toronto's Greektown may deepen stigma against people contending with mental illness after the gunman's parents said their son struggled with psychosis and depression for most of his life.

"Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this bad tragedy", the statement said.

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Cops are looking into a possible connection between Hussain's brother, who's now in a coma, and the seizure of more than 30 guns in Ontario back in 2017.

It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada. Gun ownership also requires training, a personal risk assessment, two references, spousal notification and criminal record checks.

During a debate in City Council on Tuesday, Councilman Joe Cressy asked if Toronto could outright ban guns and was informed it would be up to the federal government to change the laws. The Danforth shooting marked the latest in a spike of gun-related deaths in the city and prompted Tory to question why anyone in the city needed to own a gun at all. It passed on a 41-4 vote.

"I just want to be strong and honour these people who were lost", he said, adding going to Logan and Danforth at night was a regular activity for him and his friends prior to the shooting.

Hussain is a Muslim, and DawaNet, a Toronto Muslim charitable association, and Islamic Relief Canada have teamed up with dozens of other Muslim organizations to decry the shootings and fundraise for the victims.

On Monday, 10-year-old Julianna Kozis was identified as the second victim of the shooting. Monday afternoon, Canadian police identified the shooter as Faisal Hussain and refused to either confirm or rule out terrorism as a possible motive.

But Riccio said: "I already think we live in a great country with great values".

A classmate, who does not wish to be named, says she remembers Hussain carrying around a notebook that he would sketch in during class.



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Choking back tears, Toronto Councillor Mary Fragedakis said to the city council Monday morning, "This is so heartbreaking". The family of the man identified as the gunman released a statement saying Hussain suffered from mental health problems.