A man who assaulted worshippers at a mosque in Mississauga, Ont., final yr had been planning the assault for a yr and was motivated by hatred of and a need to intimidate Muslims, courtroom paperwork present.
Mohammad Moiz Omar “supposed to perpetrate a mass casualty occasion” when he entered the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre throughout early morning prayer on March 19, 2022 and sprayed bear spray towards congregants whereas swinging a hatchet, in response to an agreed assertion of details learn on the Ontario Superior Court docket of Justice in Brampton, Ont. Wednesday.
Omar, who was 24 years previous on the time of the assault, pleaded responsible to a few prices, in response to one among his legal professionals, Jacob Roth of Robichaud Prison Legal professionals. These prices embody administering a noxious substance with intent to hazard life or trigger bodily hurt, assault with a weapon, and mischief to spiritual property with motivation of bias, prejudice or hate based mostly on faith.
“As a part of his plea, Mr. Omar acknowledged that guilt on these three prices constitutes terrorist exercise,” Roth stated in a telephone name Wednesday.
The mosque’s imam, Ibrahim Hindy, stated the revelations in courtroom Wednesday confirmed his group’s worst nightmare.
“This was not somebody having a nasty day or having a psychological well being episode. This was somebody who deliberate out clearly what he needed to do and the way he needed to kill Muslims,” Hindy stated. “I am solely grateful that our congregation was capable of cease him earlier than he was capable of finally hurt somebody.”
‘You might be all terrorists,’ attacker stated
In line with the assertion of details, Omar entered the mosque at 7 a.m., when there have been roughly 30 folks gathered for morning prayer. He approached them from behind and discharged the bear spray whereas swinging the hatchet.
Congregants heard him say, “I hate you” and “You might be all terrorists” in the course of the assault.
The assault was thwarted when congregants pushed Omar to the bottom and restrained him.
Whereas not one of the worshippers have been severely injured, one was kicked within the abdomen and several other suffered unwanted effects from the bear spray. Injury to the mosque value $16,000 to restore.
Police who searched his automobile discovered a number of weapons and instruments, together with a big knife, a cleaver, a hammer, rope, drill bits, security goggles, fireplace extinguishers, and an unknown chemical. Most have been just lately bought at a Canadian Tire.
A photograph from the agreed assertion of details reveals a big knife, cleaver and an axe discovered on Omar’s particular person or in his automobile following the March 2022 mosque assault. (Ontario Superior Court docket of Justice)
Man expressed hatred for Islam: courtroom doc
Whereas in custody, Omar advised police he had a Muslim background however thought of himself an atheist.
He expressed hatred for Islam and Muslims, and disappointment that he was unable to inflict extra critical hurt to the victims.
The doc says Omar advised police he was “provoked” by what he known as “an illiberal and violent faith.”
“The assault was additionally geared toward intimidating a phase of the general public (Muslims) with regard to their safety,” it says.
Omar advised police he had tried to amass firearms for the assault however was unsuccessful and that he thought of constructing a bomb however lacked the data and ability to take action. He additionally advised them he had thought of attacking different targets, together with a unique mosque and the Pakistani consulate, or utilizing his automobile to run down Muslims.
“When requested if had hoped to encourage others to commit related assaults he commented, ‘In a way ya. You may at all times hope,'” the doc says.
Throughout a search of Omar’s dwelling, investigators discovered a tough drive containing video footage of the March 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, N.Z., the place a white supremacist killed 51 folks and injured one other 40. In feedback to police, Omar stated he loved seeing a girl being shot in that assault.
Police additionally discovered proof that Omar tried to acquire a 3-D printer able to printing a firearm and despatched emails to himself that disclosed “a excessive degree of planning.”
May have been Quebec mosque-style assault: advocate
Steven Zhou, a spokesperson for the Nationwide Council of Canadian Muslims, additionally praised the fast response of the congregants that day.
“If it weren’t for his or her bravery, we could very properly have attended a number of funerals along with at the moment’s proceedings,” Zhou stated. “They might have been the victims of one other Quebec Metropolis-style assault, or the truck assault in London, Ont., which occurred simply months earlier than this assault, or the homicide of a caretaker on the IMO mosque in Rexdale not too removed from right here.”
Zhou stated these assaults present a “pattern of people violently attacking Muslims for who they’re and for what they consider” that every one Canadians should confront.
In June, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Ministry of the Lawyer Normal “consented to the graduation of terrorism proceedings” in opposition to Omar. The terrorism classification permits prosecutors to pursue harder sentencing submissions than would apply to an everyday offence.
Iman Ibrahim Hindy of the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in Mississauga speaks to reporters after the responsible plea Wednesday. (Darek Zdzienicki/CBC)
Roth, Omar’s lawyer, stated his consumer stays in custody whereas he awaits sentencing.
Prosecutors and the defence have submitted a joint sentencing submission of eight years in jail.
Hindy stated that is not sufficient.
“I feel if anybody needs and plots to commit mass homicide in Canada, they deserve greater than eight years in jail,” he stated.
Omar will seem in courtroom once more Tuesday for his sentencing listening to.