Man accused of anti-Muslim assault in Canada seems in court docket

The man accused of mowing down a Muslim household along with his pick-up truck in what Canadian police are calling a hate-motivated assault appeared briefly by Zoom earlier than a decide on Thursday and is due again early subsequent week.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was arrested on Sunday in a London, Ontario, mall parking zone, a brief distance from the town’s oldest mosque. He was sporting what gave the impression to be an armoured vest and a helmet on the time, police mentioned.

Veltman, who will subsequent seem in court docket on Monday, faces 4 prices of first-degree homicide and one among tried homicide.

2021 06 09T201423Z 1447862316 RC28XN9XU1GR RTRMADP 3 CANADA ATTACK POLITICSPeople praying throughout a vigil ceremony held in honour of the Muslim household in London, Ontario, Canada [Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

Police mentioned Veltman was not identified to have hyperlinks to any hate teams however added that they have been nonetheless investigating and terror prices have been being thought of.

London police chief Steve Williams advised the Canadian Broadcasting Corp that little data is being made public with a view to assure the integrity of the judicial course of.

“We have to be protective of the information to ensure that the court process goes untainted by anything we do or say right now,” Williams mentioned.

Four members of 1 household, spanning three generations, have been killed when the truck ran them over whereas they have been out for a night stroll near their home.

Relatives have recognized the lifeless as 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old spouse Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal. The couple’s son, nine-year-old Fayez, was severely wounded however is predicted to recuperate.

“The front part of the pick-up truck was severely damaged” and was stained with blood, mentioned Hasan Savehilaghi, president of a taxi agency, recounting particulars supplied by one among his drivers who was on the scene of the arrest.

2021 06 09T013614Z 1201484825 RC2NWN95SLGF RTRMADP 3 CANADA ATTACK VIGILCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau putting flowers at a vigil exterior the London Muslim Mosque [Nathan Denette/Pool via Reuters]

Savehilaghi mentioned because the suspect was dragged from his truck by police, he was chanting, however his phrases weren’t clear. Veltman yelled on the taxi driver to movie the arrest.

“He was enjoying the scene, like it was important for him to be recorded,” mentioned Savehilaghi.

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to as the killings a “terrorist attack” and promised to clamp down on far-right teams and on-line hate.

“It was with utmost shock and horror that I came to hear of the unspeakable crime committed last weekend,” mentioned Mark Veltman, the accused attacker’s father, in an e mail on Thursday.

“There are no words adequate to properly express my deep sorrow for the victims of this senseless act,” he added.

Scant particulars about Veltman’s life have come to mild.

Veltman labored part-time at an egg-packing plant in Strathroy, Ontario, near London. Neighbours at his downtown London condo mentioned he might usually be heard taking part in video video games at excessive quantity late at evening, the London Free Press reported. London is about midway between Toronto and Detroit.

Sunday’s incident was the worst assault towards Canadian Muslims since a person shot six members of a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest physique of Muslim-majority nations, with a membership of 57 nations, condemned strongly what it described as “the heinous terrorist run-over perpetrated by an extremist” towards a Muslim household in Canada.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation referred to as on authorities to take the required preventive measures to deal with anti-Muslim hatred, which it mentioned is spreading in lots of nations the place Muslims represent a minority. In its assertion issued on Thursday, the OIC renewed its calls on the United Nations and different international our bodies to declare March 15 a day towards Islamophobia and intolerance of Muslims.