A young man accused of deliberately running over a Pakistani Muslim family in London, Ontario, on June 6 has been charged with terrorism this week.
The charges: The incident, which killed four adults and injured a child, led to multiple charges against the suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, who was arrested shortly after fleeing the scene.
- Police said they found evidence showing that the attack was planned, premeditated and “motivated by hate.” They believe Veltman targeted the family “because they were Muslim.”
- The 20-year-old was first charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. On Monday, prosecutors added two terrorism charges, CBC News reported.
- The maximum penalty for murder with a terroristic motivation is life imprisonment, without the ability to apply for parole for 25 years. This is similar to the maximum penalty for first-degree murder, according to CTV News.
The bigger picture: Politicians and community members have called for action to end Islamophobia in response to the deadly attack.
- In an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), an advocacy group, called for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia “to chart a path forward for Canada in ending violence against Muslims.” The letter was signed by over 100 faith-based and civil rights groups.
- Subsequently, the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) introduced a unanimous consent motion in parliament that demanded the administration to convene the summit before the end of July. Leader Jagmeet Singh said the motion was passed.
- A public funeral service was held for the victims on Saturday. A GoFundMe page set up for the surviving family member — a 9-year-old child — has raised $930,000 as of this writing.
Veltman will return to court on June 21.