'Incel' Terrorism Blamed for Toronto Sword Slaying

Toronto teen is accused of massage-parlor murder
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2020 6:06 PM CDT
'Incel' Terrorism Blamed for Toronto Sword Slaying
Police sweep Yonge Street the day after a driver drove a van down sidewalks, striking pedestrians in his path in Toronto, Tuesday, April 24, 2018.   (Galit Rodan/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – A teenager accused of stabbing a woman to death at a Toronto massage parlor was charged with terrorism Tuesday after police said they uncovered evidence the attack was inspired by an online community of sexually frustrated men. The 17-year-old was originally charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder Feb. 24 following multiple stabbings with a sword at an adult massage parlor. A 24-year-old woman, Ashley Noelle Arzaga, was found dead in the parlor. Toronto police contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's anti-terrorism unit after investigators found evidence the accused was inspired by "incels," a fringe online subculture that allegedly plots attacks on people who have sex, the AP reports. "Incel" is short for "involuntary celibate."

The accused in the stabbing case, who cannot be identified because of his age, appeared in court via video Tuesday to face the updated charges. It's the first time in Canada that a terrorism charge has been laid over violence tied to an "incel" suspect. "Terrorism comes in many forms and it's important to note that it is not restricted to any particular group, religion or ideology," the RCMP said in a statement. The incel subculture has also been linked to a 2018 rampage in Toronto in which a man used a van to kill 10 people. Alleged attacker Alek Minassian faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder, although authorities are not pursuing terrorism charges in the case.

(Read more Canada stories.)

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