Toronto shooting: No evidence Isis responsible for attack which killed two and wounded 13, police say

Isis claimed responsibility for attack which killed two people and injured 13

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 26 July 2018 17:33
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Bystander films moment Toronto gunman opens fire

No evidence has been found so far to support the Isis's claim of responsibility for the mass shooting in Toronto which killed two people and wounded 13 others, police in the Canadian city said.

The Islamist group claimed one of its “soldiers” carried out the weekend attack “in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition countries.”

It provided no further details or evidence in its statement, which was issued via its propaganda agency Amaq.

“At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims,” said Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. “We will continue to explore every investigative avenue including interviewing those who knew Mr. Hussain, reviewing his online activity, and looking into his experiences with mental health.”

The statement put out by Isis followed the same format they have used in other attacks where they have “jumped on the bangwagon to say they’ve done it,” Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Independent.

“From Isis’ perspective it doesn’t really matter. What matters to them is to raise their profile and get their message out there. It doesn’t surprise me that there is no clear link, it seems quite a random attack and the guy seems to have some issues.”

Mr Pantucci added that the group had claimed attacks they may not have been responsible for “with increasing frequency” over the last year.

He said: “It speaks to a broader pressure that the group is under. In that context they’re not able to marshal the same sort of resources to project their message out there. It makes sense that as they lose more territory and come under pressure on the ground they will start to do this, because from their perspective it doesn’t really cost them anything to do it.”

Faisal Hussain, 29, was identified as the attacker who unloaded a handgun into crowds in the Canadian city’s popular Greektown neighbourhood.

He died after an exchange of gunfire with police.

His family said he suffered from lifelong “severe mental health challenges,” including psychosis and depression, and had not responded to numerous treatment approaches, including therapy and medication.

They said he worked in a grocery store but spent much of his time at home.

Authorities identified the 10-year-old girl who was slain in the attack as Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ontario. Toronto police released a photo of the smiling, young girl and said her family had asked for privacy during their time of grief.

Police previously identified the other person killed in the shooting as 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto. The teenager was due to start university this autumn.

The attack came three months after a man used a van to plow down pedestrians in the city, killing 10 and injuring 14 in an attack aimed at women.

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