Terror charges have been approved against Nathaniel Veltman, accused of killing four members of a Muslim family by ramming his vehicle into them in London, in Ontario, Canada.
London police said that 20-year-old Veltman had intentionally targeted the family because they were Muslim. They say the attack, in which he ran them over, had been premeditated. Three generations of the Afzaal family had been killed in the attack, with the sole survivor being a 9-year-old boy. Having been seriously injured, the child remains in hospital.
Just over a week ago Salman Afzaal (46), Madiha Salman (44), Yumna Afzaal (15), and Afzaal’s mother (74) were killed while on an evening walk. Veltman was arrested shortly after in a parking lot close to London’s oldest mosque, wearing body armour and a helmet.
Along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s major party leaders have also condemned the violent incident as an act of terror. The National Council of Canadian Muslims have asked the PM, in an open letter to Trudeau, to commit to “concrete action” in addressing “deeply rooted systemic Islamophobia.”
The BBC reports that Veltman also faces four first-degree murder charges and one attempted murder charge.
Umm Muhammed Umar