Toronto’s chief of police says there is no evidence to support the mass shooting on the Danforth on Sunday was linked to the Islamic State Group.
“At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims,” Chief Mark Saunders said in a statement on Wednesday. “Accurate information about this investigation will only be released by the Toronto Police Service.”
Read his full statement below:
“Since Sunday evening, all areas of the Toronto Police Service have been involved in this investigation. We have received assistance from law enforcement partners at every level and I have been updated regularly. At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims. Accurate information about this investigation will only be released by the Toronto Police Service. We will continue to explore every investigative avenue including interviewing those who knew Mr. Hussain, reviewing his online activity, and looking into his experiences with mental health”.
Earlier in the day, “ISIS” (the Islamic State Group) reportedly claimed responsibility for the shooting that left a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman dead and 13 others injured.
According to Reuters and AMAQ, a news agency that claims they track extremism, a statement made by the group claims Faisal Hussain “was a soldier of the Islamic State and carried out the attack in response to calls to target the citizens of the coalition countries.”
However, “ISIS” did not provide further detail or evidence for its claim.
“This is them saying something out of their propaganda outlet, and I think what we have to do is wait for our own authorities to take a look at the things they’re investigating right now and come out and tell us what their assessment is of this, so we’ll wait for that,” Mayor John Tory said on Breakfast Television on Wednesday.
The motive behind the Danforth mass shooting remains a mystery.
There is no evidence Hussain had a criminal record and, according to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, he was not on a federal watch list.
680 NEWS reported Hussain was known to police for his “online activity,” but the type of activity that drew the attention of authorities hasn’t been revealed.
Toronto police wouldn’t confirm or deny any links to terror, saying: “We are still in the early stages of the investigation. No determination will be made on a motive until we have evidence to support that conclusion.”
His family claims he suffered from “severe mental health challenges” and has dealt with psychosis and depression his entire life.