Canada police probe car and knife attack as terrorism

Adjust Comment Print

The suspect was later sighted by police in a white U-Haul van and high-speed chase ensued through the crowded streets of downtown Edmonton.

Sharif is charged with five counts of attempted murder and four counts of risky operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

Charges are pending against a suspect in a knife-and-vehicle attack outside a football game in the Canadian city of Edmonton that left a police officer and four pedestrians injured last Saturday.

Police raised the possibility of terrorism charges on Sunday when revealing that Sharif had been investigated two years earlier for espousing extremist views and was found to have an Islamic State flag in his auto.

Thirty-year-old Abdulahi Hassan Sharif, an Edmonton resident, faces multiple charges including five counts of attempted murder and will appear in court Tuesday morning.

Police chief Rod Knecht said at a Sunday afternoon news conference that the man, who came to the attention of law enforcement in 2015 for "espousing extremist ideology" is believed to have acted alone.

It began when a man driving a Chevrolet Malibu crashed through a police barrier associated with a sports event and struck an Edmonton police officer, throwing him 15 feet through the air.

More news: Mexican border wall prototype construction begins

The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing the officer.

Police say the man fled police and later tried to run down pedestrians with a U-Haul, injuring four before he was arrested. Knecht said the truck deliberately hit four pedestrians.

Hours later, police stopped a U-Haul truck at a Checkstop on Wayne Gretzky Drive, and checked the driver's licence.

The auto struck a police officer standing in front of his patrol vehicle, "sending him flying 15 feet through the air" before crashing into his vehicle, according to a statement by local police. One person suffered a fractured skull and was initially in critical condition, but had since been upgraded to stable. Police used a flashbang to distract the driver. A spokesman for the Public Safety Department has indicated that the national terrorism threat level for Canada has not changed since 2014 and remains at "medium". Two more remain in hospital as of Sunday.

"No shots were fired". "The suspect was actually not deemed at that time to pose a threat to the security of Canada". The suspect was known to both Edmonton police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

"It is believed at this time that these two incidents are related, " Knecht said.

Edmonton Police Constable Mike Chernyk, 48, is also out of hospital.