The only suspect in today’s vehicular attack in Toronto acted alone and did not have international ties to any terrorist group, CBC News has reported.
“Government officials briefed on Monday's deadly van attack in Toronto say the incident is not associated with an organized terrorist group and does not represent a larger threat to national security,” reads a CBC article citing an anonymous source.
The Globe and Mail has similarly reported that authorities “do not believe he was motivated by terrorism”.
Various news outlets have identified the alleged attacker as Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old resident of the north Toronto neighbourhood of Richmond Hill.
A LinkedIn profile that matches that name states that Minassian was a student at Seneca College in North York.
According to Toronto Police, nine people were killed and 16 more were injured when a man drove a rented van into pedestrians in north Toronto near the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue.
Earlier in the day, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale described the incident as an “attack”.
The man authorities have in custody was apprehended a few blocks from Yonge Street and Finch Avenue. Videos posted on social media show him exiting a white van, pointing an object at police, and asking officers to shoot him.
After a brief exchange, the man was apprehended without anyone firing a weapon.
Authorities have so far not released any information related to a possible motive for the attack.
Toronto mayor John Tory issued a statement that applauds first responders and urges the city to wait for the facts.
“Our city denounces this and all acts of violence and we are united in our grief over this devastating loss of life,” it reads.
“I encourage the people of Toronto to come together in support of those affected by this tragedy and those working to keep us safe,” Tory’s statement continues. “I ask everyone to await the results of the police investigation and avoid speculation.”
Since the attack, politicians across Canada have expressed sympathy and support for Toronto.
“Vancouver stands with the people of Toronto after today’s senseless tragedy on Yonge Street,” Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson wrote on Twitter. “Our hearts go out to all the families and friends impacted, and our gratitude to the exemplary first responders.”
B.C. premier John Horgan shared a similar message.
"Our hearts are with the people of Toronto today," he wrote on social media. "This was a senseless attack, and we offer our deepest sympathies for the victims and their families."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did the same.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto,” reads a message shared on his Twitter account. “Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we're monitoring the situation closely.”More