Edmonton attack

Somali suspect had ISIS flag in car

CALGARY (Alberta) • Charges are pending against a suspect in a knife-and-vehicle attack outside a football game in the Canadian city of Edmonton that left a police officer and four pedestrians injured last Saturday.

Charges are anticipated "in the very near future" against a Somali national accused of running down and stabbing a police officer and then injuring four pedestrians in a high-speed chase through the streets of Alberta province's capital, Royal Canadian Mounted Police assistant commissioner Marlin Degrand said at a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

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.

In Canada earlier this year, a gunman killed six people inside a mosque in Quebec City. In 2014, a man killed a soldier in Ottawa and stormed the Parliament building with a rifle before he was shot.

The attack last Saturday night happened outside an Edmonton Eskimos' Canadian Football League game promoted as a military appreciation event.

A man driving a Chevrolet Malibu hit a police officer, got out of the vehicle and began stabbing the officer before fleeing the scene, Edmonton Police Service chief Rod Knecht said on Sunday.

The driver was later stopped at a checkpoint driving a U-Haul truck before taking off. This led to a police pursuit in which four pedestrians were injured before the suspect was apprehended when the truck flipped on its side.

A flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was found on the seat of the Chevrolet Malibu, said Mr Knecht. Canada has been supporting Kurdish forces that are fighting ISIS in northern Iraq.

The suspect, who is in custody, was in the refugee claimant process, said Mr Degrand. 

The person is believed to have acted alone, although police are not ruling out involvement by others, Mr Knecht said.

A complaint had been filed against the person in 2015, claiming that he espoused extremist ideology, said Mr Degrand. The individual was investigated but no charges were filed, he added.

The police did not identify the suspect.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2017, with the headline 'Somali suspect had ISIS flag in car'. Print Edition | Subscribe