On April 23, 2018, a van swerved onto the sidewalk in Toronto in what appears to have been an intentional act. When the carnage was over, 10 people were dead and more than a dozen injured. The people killed and injured were men and women, young people and old, people of different faiths, Canadian citizens and tourists.
As for the attempted murder charges, the alleged victims are: Sammantha Samson, Samantha Peart, Morgan McDougall, Mavis Justino, Catherine Riddell, Aleksandra Kozhevinikova, Amir Kiumarsi, Yunsheng Tian, Jun Seok Park, Amaresh Tesfamariam, So Ra, Beverly Smith, Robert Anderson— Tamara Khandaker (@anima_tk) April 24, 2018
Very little was known about the accused (for example, while Canadian law enforcement has said he was unknown to them, some have suggested American law enforcement was aware of him though I've come to consider this claim to be rather dubious), however as time went on we learned more about him. We learned his name was Alek Minassian, a 25 year old from Richmond Hill who had recently graduated from Seneca College having attended from 2011 to 2018. Accounts from those who knew him in high school and during his post-secondary studies paint a picture of a socially awkward individual who might have had special needs; in a 2009 article in the "Richmond Hill Liberal," his mother expressed concern that an unnamed son who was said to suffer from Asperger syndrome would no longer have access to a program called Helpmate:
“My son would spend afternoons working with Helpmate. They were sensitive to his needs and now he has a job at Compugen here in town,” she said, referring to an IT company in Richmond Hill.
“He was able to take the experience provided by Helpmate and apply it. This kind of service for my son wasn’t available elsewhere. I am convinced that if we didn’t have Helpmate, my son would not have had such an opportunity.”It was also reported that Minassian had tried to join the Canadian Armed Forces in August of 2017, however after 16 days of the 13 week basic training schedule, he asked for and received permission to leave.
Initially there wasn't any information regarding a motive for the Minassian's actions, however eventually his Facebook page was discovered and though it has since been removed by Facebook administrators Minassian posted the following status update just prior to the horrible events that were soon to take place:
Initially this post was met with skepticism as it had not been verified when the media started reporting on it, however Facebook acknowledged the authenticity of the profile:
Facebook has confirmed this post is real. The language used (i.e. "Chad") strongly indicates that Minassian was reading 4chan or another alt-right forum. After Bissonnette, this may be the 2nd murder spree in Canada associated with alt-right media diet. https://t.co/GdmgNH33OJ— Evan Balgord (@ebalgord) April 24, 2018
Facebook says the post from Alek Minassian referencing the "Incel Rebellion” and Elliot Rodger is real, and was posted publicly on his profile before Facebook shut it down.— matthew braga (@mattbraga) April 24, 2018
Toronto Police have also confirmed the post in a press conference. "It's something we'll take into account in this investigation," says homicide detective Sgt. Graham Gibson.— matthew braga (@mattbraga) April 24, 2018
Fun fact: Ezra Levant had to roll back his mockery of the "fake news":
Ezra Levant, meanwhile, has deleted a tweet dismissing the "incel" Facebook post as "#FakeNews": pic.twitter.com/pp8Ph3pHob— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) April 24, 2018
There is, as they say, always a tweet: pic.twitter.com/uUTL3wQw35— Jonathan Goldsbie (@goldsbie) April 24, 2018
Elliot Rodger, of course, refers to the 22-year-old who, motivated by his self-professed hatred for women and frustrated by his status as a virgin, murdered six and injured over a dozen before killing himself in Isla Vista, California, in May 2014. The “incel rebellion” refers to the involuntarily celibate community—people, though almost exclusively men, distraught with their lack of sexual experiences, and often expressing this disappointment as anger towards women writ large. For violent-minded incels, Rodger is thought of as a hero, and it’s believed Nikolas Cruz—the shooter responsible for the massacre in Parkland, Florida—also idolized Rodger.
“Chad,” for those unaccustomed to the Neanderthalic corners of the internet, is a reference to a meme that contrasts the qualities of a “virgin” with his confident, well-endowed opposite, Chad Thundercock. The opposing, poorly drawn men of the meme are applied to everything from character picks in Overwatch to astronomy; but true to the meme’s origin’s on 4chan—another radicalizing force Minassian mentions—the subject matter tends to veer towards subjects of traditionalism, ethno-centrism, and misogyny.
00010 is the trade number for the Canadian infantry, and C23249161 appears to be a military service number. Minassian joined the CAF for approximately 2 months, and requested a voluntary discharge without completing his recruit training, Vice reports.
I wrote/helped write a few stories about the Toronto van attack today. If you want to read them they are here: https://t.co/ySetrQ2SOphttps://t.co/7bz6RTGg2hhttps://t.co/IhYbWoiOkt— Mack Lamoureux (@MackLamoureux) April 24, 2018
There are still a lot of unknowns. One thing that doesn't matter at all is the religion of the accused. Since his name is of Armenian origin, it suggests that he MAY be a Christian, but really it doesn't matter if he's a Christian, Jew, Muslim, atheist, or other.
But damn is some people really, REALLY, want him to be a Muslim:
Almost all of what Myatt posted here is not true. The accused appears to have been in the country for close to a decade at least and may have been born in Canada. He did not arrive from Aleppo six months ago and his Facebook profile never made that claim. No where is there any evidence of his religion and the there is no indication that Trudeau has ever said or written any of the statements that are attributed to him in the picture Myatt provided.
Steven Myatt is a liar, and I believe he know's he's a liar because he has since removed this post and the accompanying comments. He has not acknowledged that he was wrong and continues to stoke religious and ethnic hatred however. This post was also shared hundreds of times and resulted in whipping his fans into a frenzied rage that is potentially very dangerous:
There were some who did question the accuracy of Myatt's claims:
Myatt's response then was to both double-down and to state something incredibly stupid:
"Armenia doesn't exist anymore"
Yeah, he actually wrote that:
- Armenians Somberly Mark 'Genocide Day' Hours After Celebrating PM's Resignation
- Armenia’s protesters just removed its Russia-friendly prime minister — Moscow is ‘definitely nervous’
Steven Myatt is an idiot.
But he's a dangerous idiot with a fairly large following of increasingly radicalized anti-government racist and Islamophobes whose violent rhetoric is reaching a fevered pitch and seems ready to explode.
He of course isn't alone: