Canada truck attack suspect charged with terror offences

Police allege incident in London, Ontario a premeditated attack targeting Muslims

Pallbearers are pictured with  the caskets of members of the Afzaal Family at the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario in London, Ontario last weekend. Photograph: Nicole Osborne/AFP via Getty Images.

Pallbearers are pictured with the caskets of members of the Afzaal Family at the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario in London, Ontario last weekend. Photograph: Nicole Osborne/AFP via Getty Images.

 

A man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in Canada with a truck has been charged with terror offences and first-degree murder.

The prosecution said the counts against Nathaniel Veltman constituted an act of terrorism and that the charges had been upgraded under the country’s criminal code.

Police allege the incident in London, Ontario on June 6th was a planned and premeditated attack targeting Muslims.

Mr Veltman also faces one count of attempted murder due to terrorism activity. The upgraded charges were brought as he made a brief court appearance via video on Monday morning. He has yet to enter a plea.

Salman Afzaal (46), his wife Madiha Salman (44), their daughter Yumna (15) and her grandmother Talat Afzaal (74) were killed while out for an evening walk on June 6th.

The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was seriously injured but is expected to recover from injuries sustained in the incident which happened in a car park close to London’s oldest mosque.

Saboor Khan, a friend of the family, said upgrading the charges against Mr Veltman was “the right thing to do”.

“The family and the community has been terrorised and many of us are afraid to leave our homes,” he said.

A funeral for the family drew hundreds of mourners to the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario over the weekend.

The matter is due to return to court on June 21st. - AP