Edmonton Attack Suspect Faces Terrorism Charges After Strike

(Bloomberg) -- Charges are pending against a suspect in a knife-and-vehicle attack outside a football game in the Canadian city of Edmonton that left one police officer and four pedestrians injured, a day before two women were killed in France by a man wielding a knife.

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’s capital, Marlin Degrand, assistant commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

It was the latest in a series of assaults around the world that authorities have labeled as terrorism, including a blast on a commuter train in London last month and Sunday’s knife attack in Marseille’s Saint Charles train station in France. 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 on Saturday night happened outside an Edmonton Eskimos Canadian Football League game promoted as a military-appreciation event. A man driving a Chevrolet Malibu drove into a police officer, got out of the vehicle and began stabbing the officer before fleeing the scene, Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said in a press conference Sunday.

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

An Islamic State flag was found on the seat of the Malibu, Knecht said. Canada has been supporting Kurdish forces that are fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the “terrorist attack.”

“While the investigation continues, early reports indicate that this is another example of the hate that we must remain ever vigilant against,” the prime minister said in a statement Sunday.

The White House also condemned the attack and said in an email that U.S. law enforcement authorities are offering their Canadian counterparts assistance in the investigation.

The suspect, who is in custody, was in the refugee claimant process, Degrand said. The person is believed to have acted alone, although police aren’t ruling out that others may have been involved, Knecht said.

A complaint was filed against the person in 2015, claiming that he espoused extremist ideology, Degrand said. The individual was investigated but no charges were filed, he said. The police didn’t identify the suspect.