» Man accused in military centre stabbing acquitted of terror charges, not criminally responsible
Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Man accused in military centre stabbing acquitted of terror charges, not criminally responsible

A man with schizophrenia who attacked soldiers at a military recruitment centre in Toronto has been acquitted of terror-related charges and found not criminally responsible for lesser offences due to mental illness.

Judge Ian MacDonnell says Ayanle Hassan Ali’s actions in May 2016 do not fit the intended scope of Canadian terrorism laws.

Ali had pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault causing bodily harm and one count of carrying a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, all for the benefit or at the direction of a terror organization.

His lawyers had argued that because he committed his actions alone and had never been in contact with any terror groups, he should be found not guilty on the terror charges. They also argued he should be found not criminally responsible for the lesser included offences of attempted murder, assault and weapons offences.

His lawyers had argued that because he committed his actions alone and had never been in contact with any terror groups, he should be found not guilty on the terror charges. They also argued he should be found not criminally responsible for the lesser included offences of attempted murder, assault and weapons offences.

The prosecution argued that Canadian terror laws could apply to Ali because he acted as a “terrorist group of one.”

The judge ruled against the Crown’s argument, saying the federal government’s intention behind terrorism laws must be taken into account.

On March 14, 2016, Ali entered a Canadian Forces recruitment office in north Toronto at 4900 Yonge Street, armed with a knife, and attacked uniformed soldiers, leaving at least two with minor injuries. He was then overpowered and subdued.

According to an agreed statement of facts presented by the Crown and defence at trial, Ali repeatedly punched and slashed at one soldier, leaving the man with a three-inch gash on his arm.

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