Ayanle Hassan Ali, 27, is facing nine charges in connection with the attack he carried out on Canada’s military at a recruitment centre in Toronto on Monday. The attack led to the death of two members of the Canadian military.
Ali appeared before the court on Tuesday in a prison-issued jumpsuit with hands cuffed behind his back. He kept his gaze down throughout the hearing and moved at times only to shift his weight from one foot to another. The case has been held until Friday when a full bail hearing will be held.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters Tuesday that, Ali was born in Montreal and lived in Alberta for a brief period before moving to Toronto in 2011. In 2009, he also registered himself at the University of Calgary for two semesters.
Ali is facing three charges of attempted murder, two charges of aggravated assault, three charges of assault with a weapon and one count of carrying a weapon dangerous to the public, the CBC News reported.
According to Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders, Ali said that Allah had asked him to do this. “Allah told me to do this, Allah told me to come here and kill people.”
David Burke, Ali’s lawyer, told reporters outside the court that that, “This is a very, very serious incident and no one is going to pretend it’s not.”
He added “It’s a very, very difficult situation he finds himself in. He seems very scared.”
Burke said that he is not willing to get whether his client is remorseful of the attack or not.
Amarnath Amarasingam, a fellow at the George Washington University Program on Extremism, said that Ali has a long history of mental illness in the family. He said discovered Ali’s background after speaking to a close relative if his on Tuesday. He learnt from the relative that Ali’s mother had suffered from a long-term Schizophrenia or bipolar or bipolar disorder, the National Post reported.
Amarasingam also learnt from the relative that Ali has too had been showing symptoms of mental illness for the past five years.