The Toronto Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are providing an update to the news release that was issued about Homicide 11/2020 (GO# 2020-372105) on Saturday, February 22, 2020.
During the investigation, evidence was discovered which led investigators to believe the homicide may have been a terrorist-related offence. In line with existing protocols, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) was contacted and investigative assistance was requested.
After consulting with federal and provincial Crown Attorneys and with consents from the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Attorney General of Canada, Saad Akhtar appeared in court, for a second time, at 1911 Eglinton Avenue East, on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
The charge has now been updated to:
- First-Degree Murder – Including Terrorist Activity, invoking Section 231 (6.01) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
While the investigation, and prosecution, will be a collaborative effort between Toronto Police Service Homicide and INSET Toronto, the public can be assured this appears to be an isolated incident and there is no further known threat to the public associated to the accused at this time.
"The Toronto Police Service appreciates the cooperation received from our partners with the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. Today's update is a result of this collaborative effort and the Service is committed to working with our partners going forward to ensure a successful outcome for this case and, most importantly, for the family and friends of the victim," said Inspector Hank Idsinga, Homicide, Toronto Police Service.
"On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the victim's family and to the communities that are affected by this horrific event. Today's announcement is a result of the good work that is done when the dedication of our members, the assistance of the public, and the involvement of our intelligence partners comes together to investigate an incident of national security. We will continue to support the Toronto Police Service as we remain focused on the safety and security of Canadians," said Superintendent Christopher deGale, Officer in Charge, INSET, O Division.
Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSETs), led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), are multi-agency teams made up of specially trained members of the RCMP and other law enforcement and national security partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Working together, INSET members identify, deter, disrupt and prevent criminal activities of terrorist groups or individuals who pose a threat to Canada's national security.
If you believe you've witnessed or are aware of any criminal extremism or suspicious activities which could pose a threat to public safety and/or national security, we encourage you to report it to 1-800-420-5805 or email RCMP.NSIN-RISN.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca