Terrorism proceedings to begin against alleged Mississauga mosque attacker: police

Police say an alleged attack at a Mississauga mosque in March constituted “terrorist activity.”

Peel Regional Police, in association with Royal Canadian Mounted Police, announced an update Wednesday in regards to the alleged attack at the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in the McAdam Road and Matheson Boulevard area.

Police said on March 19, a man walked into the centre and sprayed bear spray at members of the mosque, while “brandishing a hatchet.”

Officers said members of the mosque “quickly subdued the man until police arrived.”

A suspect was charged and named as Mohammad Moiz Omar, a 24-year-old from Mississauga.

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In a statement at the time, the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre said it’s congregants have been subject to a “violent attack.”

“Before he could inflict harm on any worshippers, several congregants  bravely were able to stop him in his tracks,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, Peel police said “the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the Ministry of the Attorney General consented to the commencement of terrorism proceedings against Mohammad Moiz Omar.”

He faces seven charges in connection with offences which “constitute terrorist activity” under the Criminal Code of Canada, police said.

The charges include two counts of assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public and mischief to religious property.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the mosque itself released a statement welcoming the charges.

“This is a welcomed step by the crown to lay the appropriate charges,” NCCM Staff Lawyer Nusaiba Al-Azem said. “But we know that we need to continue to engage governments and agencies at all levels to take action to keep our communities safe now and in the future.”

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Peel’s police chief promised to keep the community safe.

“Our community has a fundamental right, and deserves, to feel safe and secure,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said in a statement.

“Any attempt to jeopardize the safety of our community will be met with every effort to bring those responsible to justice. This incident has deeply impacted Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre members and carries rippling impacts throughout our community.”

Several leaders, including Prime Minister, condemned the incident in March.

— with files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson 

Source: Terrorism proceedings to begin against alleged Mississauga mosque attacker: police | Globalnews.ca

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