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30 Sept 2017: Possible Terrorist Incident in Edmonton

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This story from the Edmonton Journal reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act reports on a series of incidents in Edmonton that are being investigated as possible domestic terrorism. Please note details are sketchy and that the next update is scheduled for 1500 local.


'Acts of terrorism' in Edmonton: Officer stabbed, pedestrians run down

A manhunt was underway when a suspect was spotted driving a U-Haul and a police chase ensued

More from Paige Parsons
Published on: October 1, 2017 | Last Updated: October 1, 2017 5:50 AM MDT

The stabbing of a police officer and a subsequent high-speed chase where several pedestrians were run down is being investigated as an act of terrorism, Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht said at a 3 a.m. news conference.

Knecht, standing side by side with representatives of the RCMP, said based on evidence at the scene, and the actions of the suspect “it was determined that these incidents are being investigated as acts of terrorism under section 83.2 of the criminal code.”

Knecht also confirmed that an ISIS flag was discovered in the vehicle the suspect was driving when he rammed, then stabbed the police officer. And that the flag is part of the investigation.

The attack began on the officer who was manning a routine Eskimos game-day blockade by himself southwest of Commonwealth Stadium at 107A avenue and 92 Street. The officer was outside his vehicle, which had its lights flashing to improve visibility.

At around 8:15 p.m., a male driving a white Chevrolet Malibu crashed into the barricades set up to keep pedestrians separated from vehicles.

The vehicle struck the officer “sending him flying through the air 15 feet before colliding with the officer’s cruiser.”

The suspect, believed to be 30 years old, then rammed the police cruiser at high speed before getting out of his vehicle and attacking the officer with a knife. The officer was stabbed multiple times before the suspect fled northbound on 92 Street on foot.

A U-Haul box truck was tipped over after a police chase west down Jasper Avenue on Saturday Sept. 30, 2017.
The officer was transported to hospital and the chief said he is “not critical.”

Immediately after the incident, Knecht said information about the registered owner of the vehicle was broadcast to patrol officers across the city.

A manhunt was underway when before midnight the suspect was pulled over at a police check stop on Wayne Gretzky Drive and 112 Avenue driving a U-Haul truck. When the officer asked to see a driver’s licence, he recognized the name as being similar to that of the registered owner of the Malibu used in the earlier attack. The suspect fled the scene with at least a dozen police vehicles in pursuit.

Pedestrians targeted in downtown chase

A high speed chase ensued with the suspect racing west down Jasper Avenue into the downtown, where Knecht said the suspect “deliberately tried to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys” at two areas along the route. Four pedestrians were struck and were subsequently transported to hospital. There is no information on their condition.

Shortly after the pedestrians were run down, the suspect’s vehicle overturned on 100 Avenue just south of Jasper “due to police interaction,” said Knecht.

The driver was arrested and is now in police custody.

Witnesses who saw the chase and pedestrians being struck described the scene as chaotic.

‘There were people flying’

Just before midnight Kim Anderson was waiting for her bus when she saw the U-Haul hit pedestrians near Jasper Avenue and 107 Street.

“There were people flying and everything,” she said. “I’m shocked — I just see people flying.”

At the Matrix Hotel on 100 Avenue and 106 Street, right across from where the truck overturned, Natalie Pon was at a wedding.

She said guests heard loud bangs like gunshots. Staff kept them away from the windows as the situation unfolded.

When she snapped a photo of the U-Haul there was a “huge hole” in the windshield of the truck. But she didn’t see a suspect.

“We caught wind this was happening outside, so we saw it after the fact.”

Pat Hannigan said he was across the street when he saw the truck flip over.

“They (police) were pulling him out of the windshield, then handcuffed him,” he said.

Brian McNeill was sitting on the back of a pickup truck when he saw the U-Haul going about 80 kilometres per hour, chased by 14 to 20 police vehicles.

“Holy crap, this is too fast,” he thought as he watched vehicles driving west on Jasper Avenue.

He says the truck hit two pedestrians and disappeared. Then he says he heard what he believed was a gunshot.

McNeill questioned why a high-speed chase was allowed to happen in the downtown. “That should have never happened,” he said.

Chief justifies high-speed chase

Knecht addressed those concerns at his news conference, saying the seriousness of the crime dictated why the chase continued.

The chief also said police had no forewarning of the attack and they believe the suspect acted alone. However Knecht also cautioned that “the investigation is in the early stages, and we are urging Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.”

“Contact police if you see anything suspicious or hear anything suspicious,” he said.

Several hours after the officer was attacked, the white sedan with a damaged front sat between two police vehicles near a darkened grocery store adjacent to a Crown Liquor store. The trunk on the sedan was popped open and the scene was bordered by yellow police tape.

A police hat and what appeared to be a yellow police vest lay on the ground near the car.

Police diverting traffic

A heavy police presence had blanketed Edmonton’s inner city after the initial incident as the manhunt ramped up.

Police were stopping vehicles and checking inside with flashlights throughout the area.

Officers were also seen stopping traffic on the High Level Bridge as well as maintaining a presence on the
Walterdale Bridge.

One complication, although it appeared to transpire without incident, was the thousands of fans exiting Commonwealth Stadium after the Eskimos game very near the first crime scene. But traffic was diverted and remained orderly.

Knecht will provide a further update at 3 p.m.

- mod edit to add date to thread title -
It walks, talks, and quacks like a duck...  Indeed, we're fortunate the attack was so ineffective. It seems very clear he was going for the police officer right form the outset- I wouldn't be surprised if it was in an attempt to obtain the officer's firearm.

I would guess that this guy will fit the 'self-radicalized loser' profile, but time will tell. Police have said he was 'known to police', which doesn't surprise me at all.
Interesting to see that some are commenting that this type of attack has finally come to Canada.  How soon they forget.  It was three years ago that WO Vincent was run down in a parking lot in Quebec and Cpl Cirillo was killed at the National War Memorial, before the gunman was killed IN the halls of Parliament.
Latest (~0550 local) from Edmonton police - also attached if link doesn't work for you ...
Male suspect arrested in connection with vicious knife attack on EPS officer and subsequent vehicle-pedestrian collisions
Incidents being investigated as 'Acts of Terrorism"
For Immediate Release:01-Oct-2017 @ 5:13 AM
MRU #:17R124

The Edmonton Police Service has arrested a 30-year-old Edmonton man in connection with a violent crime spree, which saw an EPS officer struck with a car and viciously stabbed, and four pedestrians deliberately struck with a different vehicle later Saturday evening.

The EPS and the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) are now investigating the incidents as an Act of Terrorism under Section. 82.3 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

“EPS members arrested and took a male suspect we believe to be responsible for these acts of violence into custody earlier this morning,” said EPS Chief Rod Knecht. “We ask that our citizens remain vigilant and observant of their surroundings, and contact police should they notice any other unusual activities around the city.”

At approximately 8:15 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, a uniformed EPS officer was working traffic control duties during a CFL football game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The uniformed officer was standing behind a traffic barricade and in front of his police vehicle at an intersection near 107A Avenue and 92 Street, just southwest of Commonwealth (football) Stadium. Suddenly, and without provocation, a male driving a white Chevrolet Malibou crashed through the traffic barricades that were separating vehicles from pedestrians, at a high rate of speed.

The vehicle struck the EPS officer, sending him flying 15 feet through the air, before colliding with the officer’s cruiser, again at a high rate of speed.

A male, believed to be 30 years of age, then jumped out of his vehicle and began viciously stabbing the officer with a knife, as a struggle ensued. The suspect then fled the scene on foot, northbound down 92 Street. The officer was then transported to hospital with various injuries.

Just before midnight, a U Haul truck was pulled over at a Checkstop location on Wayne Gretzky Drive and 112 Avenue. A police officer asked to see the licence of the driver, and recognized the name as being similar to the registered owner of the Chevy Malibu involved in the incident on 107A Avenue earlier in the evening.

The U Haul truck then immediately fled the scene, and was pursued by police officers towards downtown Edmonton. During the chase, the U Haul truck deliberately attempted to hit pedestrians in crosswalks and alleys in two areas along Jasper Avenue, at 107 and 109 streets. Currently, it is believed four pedestrians were struck by the truck and transported to hospital with multiple injuries.

The chase concluded with the U Haul truck flipping over on Jasper Avenue. The driver was apprehended and is currently in police custody.

Investigators believe the incident near Commonwealth Stadium and subsequent attempts to injure pedestrians in downtown Edmonton may be related. Based on evidence at the scene and the actions of the male suspect, EPS, INSET and its Canadian Public Security Agencies are now investigating these incidents as acts of terrorism under Section 83.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

“Currently, we believe this is an individual who acted alone, although the investigation is in its early stages,” said Chief Knecht. “We are urging all Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Please contact police immediately if you see or hear anything out of the ordinary or unusual.”

Anyone with information about these violent incidents are urged to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.



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George Wallace said:
Interesting to see that some are commenting that this type of attack has finally come to Canada.  How soon they forget.  It was three years ago that WO Vincent was run down in a parking lot in Quebec and Cpl Cirillo was killed at the National War Memorial, before the gunman was killed IN the halls of Parliament.

I suspect they're referring more to the 'cube van down a busy street' part of it.
I wish a full and speedy recovery to all the victims.
PM has released a statement. Nothing equivocal here.

Ottawa, Ontario
October 1, 2017
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement after a terrorist attack in Edmonton:

“The Government of Canada and Canadians stand with the people of Edmonton after the terrorist attack on Saturday that sent an Edmonton Police Service officer to hospital and injured a number of innocent people who were out to cheer on their football team and to enjoy an evening in their city. I am deeply concerned and outraged by this tragedy.

"Our thoughts are with those injured, their family and friends, and all those affected by this senseless act of violence. I am also grateful for the first responders who were there on the scene, and the enforcement authorities who have been working through the night to make sure that everybody in Edmonton and Alberta is safe and secure. Police officers put themselves at great personal risk every single day on our behalf, and this attack is a stark reminder of the sacrifices they make for the public good.

“While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against. The RCMP and the Edmonton Police Service, through the Integrated National Enforcement Team, are working closely together to bring those involved to justice.

“We cannot – and will not – let violent extremism take root in our communities. We know that Canada’s strength comes from our diversity, and we will not be cowed by those who seek to divide us or promote fear. Edmonton is a strong and resilient city, and I am confident that its citizens will support one another to overcome this tragic event.”
Wow, he used the "T" word.  Bet that burned.
jollyjacktar said:
Wow, he used the "T" word.  Bet that burned.

Well, the EPS called it that first.  Politically/optics-wise it'd be worse to publicly disagree at this point in time.
I hope the Constable recovers from his injuries quickly. Kudos to the police for a quick arrest.
There may be even more to this story than just this string of events.

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

'We're looking for weapons, we're looking for intent. And this student showed both,' says threat specialist
By Travis McEwan, CBC News Posted: Sep 29, 2017 7:19 PM MT Last Updated: Sep 29, 2017 7:23 PM MT


An Edmonton school was on lockdown Friday morning after getting a tip from a U.S.-based group of former special agents and military veterans who monitor online threats of violence.

Bob Dowling, the president of Tactical Institute and former senior special agent with the FBI's National Joint Terrorism Task Force, held a meeting with his team Friday morning to talk about the violent threats they were seeing online.

Some of the online posts that stood out were from an account based in Edmonton.

The student who made the posts wrote that he might bring a gun to school and shoot it up.

"[We] put essentially a threat matrix together for that student and scored him high enough to make a call based on his open-source tweet with no right to privacy," Dowling told CBC News.

"We were not just interested in the single tweet about shooting the school up, but prior to that multiple tweets about being disturbed, self-described depression, knives, a lot of gameplay involving very, very violent videos," Dowling said.

"We're looking for weapons, we're looking for intent. And this student showed both."

No injuries 'makes our day'

The student allegedly posted a video outside of Edmonton's Balwin School, so Dowling called the school principal on Friday morning.

The K-9 school was immediately locked down after 9 a.m. for a few hours. Students quietly hid in their classrooms without any injuries, said an Edmonton Public Schools spokesperson.

A suspect was arrested by Edmonton police and the lockdown was lifted.

Dowling called the lockdown "textbook" and was happy to hear that no one was injured.

"We believe that today was just a superb example of [the Tactical Institute] working with school administration and law enforcement," he said. "The fact that there were no injuries and no shots fired really makes our day."

The company mostly makes calls to U.S. colleges, and is contracted to monitor student public accounts, said Dowling, who believes the company has prevented 18 school shootings.

Calls to Canada are rare, he said, but added that this account showed clear red flags.

"We have made calls to Canada without any preconceived bias that you guys don't have as many guns as we do here in the States. But at the same time, we were looking at a student who has very boldly claimed that he wanted to shoot the school up — people make him upset and he gives a motive."

Dowling wouldn't disclose how many people work for Tactical Institute, but he said most of the employees are former military veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq.



More on LINK.

Could they be linked?  Is it a prank "SWATTING" or related to the events of the stabbing of the police officer and running down of pedestrians?  It is yet to be determined.  Could all be just a coincidence. 
Video of the ramming and the assault on the officer is out. Looks like after he struck him with the car he ran up and assaulted him while on the ground. The officer fought back hard, and the ground fight lasted about 32 seconds before bystanders intervened and he suspect ran off. Looks Like a possible gun grab attempt. The officer is lucky to be alive.

I was reading an article earlier that said it was a military appreciation night - CDS was there and everything.  Makes you wonder what the actual target was...

Link to article here, usual copyright laws apply...http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/trudeau-calls-chaos-in-edmonton-a-terrorist-attack/ar-AAsH8bS?li=AAadgLE&ocid=ientp

And, for the record ...
NCCM condemns brazen attacks in Edmonton

(Ottawa - October 1, 2017) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, categorically condemns the brazen and senseless attacks in Edmonton on Saturday night.

An Edmonton police constable was stabbed by a suspect who is later alleged to have driven a truck aiming to mow down pedestrians.  Four people were injured, along with the policeman.  The suspect is now in police custody.  A Daesh flag was allegedly found in the vehicle.  Edmonton police are investigating the incident as a terrorist attack.

"We denounce these cowardly acts of wanton violence in Edmonton.  There is never any justification for such criminal acts.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

"Canadian Muslims stand united with all Canadians against all forms of hate and violence.  We urge local authorities to bring the perpetrator quickly to justice.  Such despicable acts must be punished to the fullest extent of the law," says Gardee.
Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

'Was he under surveillance?': Questions surround Edmonton 'acts of terrorism,' security expert says
Investigators will try to determine if suspect had associates who aided him or could pose a continuing danger
CBC News Posted: Oct 01, 2017 8:31 AM MT Last Updated: Oct 01, 2017 9:35 AM MT


With a man in custody for what Edmonton police call "acts of terrorism" in the city overnight, investigators will try to determine if he had associates who aided him or could pose a continuing danger to the public, says a Canadian security expert.

The 30-year-old suspect was apprehended following a high-speed chase just before midnight through streets filled with bar patrons and football fans that ended only after a white U-Haul van he was driving struck four pedestrians and flipped on its side.

"One of the difficult questions that will be asked here is: what if anything did security intelligence and criminal intelligence know about this individual beforehand? Was he under surveillance?" Christian Leuprecht, a political science professor at the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's University, told CBC News on Sunday.

"And if he was, whether there would have been enough evidence to charge him before this attack would have taken place. Those are difficult questions, and those will all come out during the course of the investigation."

Leuprecht, who is currently attending a security conference in Latvia, said Public Safety Canada tries to track extremists who travel to Syria or Iraq to try to join ISIS.

"We also know that there are between 80 and 120 of those individuals who have so far returned to Canada," he said. "Some of these individuals remain under surveillance for as long as six months. So it would be interesting to see if [the man arrested in Edmonton] had a previous travel history to the region or connection with someone else who did."

Security expert Michel Juneau-Katsuya said the events in Edmonton were exactly what Canadian police had been bracing for.
"Evidence shows that apparently he was a supporter of ISIS," he said of the man arrested by police.

"A flag was found," said Juneau-Katsuya, CEO of security consulting firm The Northgate Group and guest professor in criminology at the University of Ottawa. "The methodology that he used was very, very similar to methodology used before … and we knew that there [are] still some supporters or sympathizers of the Islamic state right here in Canada.

"We were expecting that it would happen in Canada at one point or other. We just didn't know when or ... where."

Juneau-Katsuya said it is likely the attacker was inspired by ISIS but "very unlikely" he was directed by the jihadist organization.

"This is the kind of incident by individuals that can be taken on their own initiative, and this is what is so terrible and so difficult to investigate for police officers because basically you need no training.

"You just need the conviction and the commitment to do whatever horrible attack you want to do, and that's it. You find a vehicle, you find a knife, you find your victims."

Vehicles have been used as weapons in several deadly attacks around the world in recent years.

In August, a van drove along sidewalks in a popular tourist area in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100In June, seven people died and four dozen were injured after a speeding van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge. Three men with knives later abandoned the van and attacked people in nearby Borough Market, an area full of bars and restaurants.

In December 2016, a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin. A dozen people died and many more were injured.

The deadliest such attack in recent years happened in Nice, France, where a large truck plowed through revellers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks on the waterfront promenade, killing at least 84 people. A student who attended MacEwan University in Edmonton was among the dead in that attack.

More on LINK.
EPS chief Rod Knecht now speaking. Officer is in good condition and out of hospital, recovering from knife wounds to the head and neck plus serious abrasions from being hit. He was protecting his gun with one hand and defending himself from the knife with the other.

U Haul truck a couple hours later arrived at a checkpoint set up to watch for the suspect. Name was recognized, and the truck fled. Edmonton Police authorized a pursuit based on public risk. Truck attempted to run over civilians on Jasper Avenue. Four individuals struck, limited info on their condition- injuries from broken limbs to brain bleeds. One in critical last night is now stable, two released from hospital.

Vehicle continued down Jasper Ave, showed no signs of slowing up. A police vehicle was authorized to use a 'deliberate tactical manoeuvre', which caused the truck to flip. Officers then used a stun grenade and a taser on the driver, whereupon he was removed from the truck and arrested. Suspect was treated medically, and remains in custody being questioned by police.

Edmonton Police and RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) working in concert on this. Alberta INSET is a multiagency organization led by RCMP, mandated to investigate national security matters.

Suspect is known to both Edmonton Police as well as RCMP. In 2015, a complaint was filed with Edmonton Police to the effect that the suspect was espousing extremist ideology. INSET was notified and investigated. He was interviewed by INSET. At the end of that investigation there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges and suspect was deemed at that time to not pose a threat to the security of Canada. Police are confident that the 2015 investigation was full and thorough, and that at that time they had nothing further to go on.

Suspect is a Somali national, currently a refugee claimant. Up until this event he had no negative interactions with police. Appears at this point that it was the actions of one individual.

Multiple crime scenes, multiple searches being conducted across the city (I interpret this as searching premises)

Charges are pending, and thus far are leaning towards: Participating in a terrorist activity, attempted murder x5, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, criminal flight causing bodily harm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Brihard said:
EPS chief Rod Knecht now speaking. Officer is in good condition and out of hospital, recovering from knife wounds to the head and neck plus serious abrasions from being hit. He was protecting his gun with one hand and defending himself from the knife with the other.

If anyone else saw that video that officer is a WARRIOR.  Hit by a car, flew a meter or two into the air, landing on a barricade and then the pavement.  He looks down and out when the suspect runs over and starts stabbing him.  The officer then manages to get the suspect in a headlock and fight his way to his feet using only his one arm while protecting his gun with his other arm.  He then eventually chases off the suspect.  Damn.  That's one lucky and tough SOB.
Underway said:
If anyone else saw that video that officer is a WARRIOR.  Hit by a car, flew a meter or two into the air, landing on a barricade and then the pavement.  He looks down and out when the suspect runs over and starts stabbing him.  The officer then manages to get the suspect in a headlock and fight his way to his feet using only his one arm while protecting his gun with his other arm.  He then eventually chases off the suspect.  Damn.  That's one lucky and tough SOB.

No kidding. Hopefully an MB or SC coming for him. Pure survivor mentality there.