Toronto shooting: Isis claims responsibility for attack which killed two people and wounded 13

Police 'do not believe there is a link between shooter and national security', Canada's public safety minister says

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 25 July 2018 14:39
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Bystander films moment Toronto gunman opens fire

Isis has claimed responsibility for a shooting in Toronto that killed two people and wounded a further 13 over the weekend.

The attacker “was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries”, a statement by the Islamic militant group said.

It did not provide further detail or evidence for its claim, issued via its Amaq propaganda agency.

Investigators have yet to determine why 29-year-old Faisal Hussain fired a handgun into crowds in the Canadian city’s popular Greektown neighbourhood. He died after an exchange of gunfire with police.

The wording of Isis’s statement was generic and has been used previously in relation to attacks where the group has had no direct interaction with perpetrators.

“I don’t think they have given any evidence that they did know anything about it. I don’t know that we can draw a clear link,” Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Independent.

“I would suggest that it seems to be very much par for the course for them. Previously they were being more circumspect about how they were claiming stuff. I think we’ve seen a shift. It magnifies their importance, it means we’re talking about them. I think it’s really a case of it’s a communications effort.”

Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said that authorities believed that the investigation led by the Toronto Police Service suggested there was “no connection between that individual and national security”.

Mr Hussain’s family said he had had “severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life”, in a statement.

“While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.” they said.

The gunman killed 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, of nearby Markham, and 18-year-old Reese Fallon, a recent high school graduate who was set to begin university this autumn.

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