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Terror charges laid in Toronto massage parlour stabbing that left one dead

May 20, 2020  By The Canadian Press

TORONTO — A teenager accused in a deadly attack at a Toronto massage parlour was inspired by the so-called “incel movement,” the RCMP said Tuesday as they announced terrorism charges against the accused.

The 17-year-old was originally charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder following multiple stabbings at an adult massage parlour in the city’s north end on Feb. 24.

A 24-year-old woman, Ashley Noelle Arzaga, was found dead at the scene, while a man and another woman were also stabbed in the alleged attack.

Toronto Police Service contacted the RCMP shortly after the incident, when they allegedly found evidence the accused was inspired by the “incel movement,” the RCMP said in a statement.


The incel movement — “incel” is short for “involuntary celibate” — is a fringe internet subculture typically dominated by men who blame women for their lack of sexual relationships.

The RCMP said a joint investigation with the Toronto police concluded the massage parlour attacks were terrorist activity, and the charges against the teenager were updated to first-degree murder – terrorist activity and attempted murder – terrorist activity.

The accused — who cannot be named because of his age — appeared in court via video on Tuesday to face the updated charges. His next court appearance, again by video, is scheduled for June 30.

Police said the attack appears to have been an isolated incident and there is no further known threat to the public associated with the accused.

Alek Minassian, who is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in connection with the so-called van attack in Toronto on April 23, 2018, told police that he carried it out as part of the “incel movement.”

Minassian said in a lengthy interview with police that the attack was in retribution for years of sexual rejection and ridicule by women. He is not facing terrorism charges.

– John Chidley-Hill

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 19, 2020.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020

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