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Teenage boy charged in Canada’s first ‘incel’ terror case

Written by on May 20, 2020

A Toronto teenager has become the first Canadian ever charged with carrying out an “incel”-inspired terror attack.

The 17-year-old boy is accused of fatally stabbing a woman in February.

Incel is short for “involuntarily celibate” and describes males, mostly in online groups, who blame women for their sexual frustrations.

A 2018 attack in Toronto that killed 10 was also allegedly inspired by the ideology, but the accused in that case was not charged with terrorism.

On Tuesday, Toronto Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) issued a joint press conference announcing the terrorism charges.

The suspect, who cannot be named because he is a minor, had already been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder shortly after the incident, which took place at an erotic massage parlour.

Police allege he fatally stabbed Ashley Noelle Arzaga, 24, who was discovered inside the building around 13:00 local time on 24 February. Two other people, a man and a woman, were found outside the premises with stab wounds.

Ms Arzaga is remembered as a loving mother and a kind person, the Toronto Star reported.

When Toronto police learned the crime may have been motivated by an extremist ideology, they contacted Canada’s federal RCMP, which ultimately decided to press terrorism charges.

“Terrorism comes in many forms and it’s important to note that it is not restricted to any particular group, religion or ideology,” said the RCMP.

A first-degree murder conviction for an adult carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life, but as the suspect was 17 at the time of the crime, there is no mandatory minimum.

He appeared by video before court on Tuesday morning to hear his new charges, and remains in police custody.


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