Canada police probe car and knife attack as terrorism

"As we gather more information in evidence that will obviously be reassessed and if warranted, further charges will be pursued".

Mr Sharif is due to appear in an Edmonton court on 3 October.

Mr. Sharif is facing 11 charges, including five counts of attempted murder, five of risky driving causing bodily harm and one weapons offence.

Canada defended its immigration and refugee vetting system on Monday after a Somali immigrant, who had drawn scrutiny for his alleged extremist views, was charged with attempted murder for a weekend auto and knife attack that injured five.

According to Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht, a flag of the terrorist group Daesh (ISIS) was found in the vehicle.

At that time, Edmonton police Const. Mike Chernyk was handling crowd control at a Canadian Football League game outside Commonwealth Stadium, just northeast of downtown.

The incident in Edmonton began when a Chevy Malibu slammed into a police officer standing in front of a football stadium at about 8:15 p.m. (0215 Sunday GMT), hitting him with enough force to send him flying into the air. Chernyk fought back, and the suspect fled on foot.

Chernyk was released from hospital Sunday, as were two of the pedestrians. While checking the driver's license, the officer recognized the name as being similar to the registered owner of the Chevrolet Malibu.

The driver was later stopped at a checkpoint driving a U-Haul truck before taking off.

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Four pedestrians were also injured when they were run struck by a U-Haul van in downtown Edmonton. Then he fled the scene on foot but was chased down and taken into custody. This raised doubts in the mind of the police and the driver sensed trouble.

It was the latest in a series of assaults around the world that the authorities have labelled as terrorism, including a blast on a commuter train in London last month and Sunday's knife attack at the Saint Charles train station in Marseille, France.

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

"From all indications, it appears that this was a single individual acting alone, Knecht said".

"Did we have a clue that this event was going to happen?"

Canada has seen a surge in illegal border crossings this year as people fearing a USA immigration crackdown and possible deportation sought asylum. Four pedestrians were hospitalized after being intentionally struck, one of whom has a fractured skull.

In Regina, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was asked if the suspect had been known to Canada's spy agency.

EPS said a tactical maneuver managed to get the truck to roll, and police arrested the suspect.

  • Ronnie Bowen