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A suspect accused of slashing a person’s throat on a bus in the Canadian province of British Columbia has been charged with four terrorism-related counts in the attack that left a man with life-threatening injuries.
Provincial court documents show that Abdul Aziz Kawam, born in 1995, is accused of four counts of acting “for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group, to wit: the Islamic State.”
He also faces one count of attempted murder, one count of assault and one count of aggravated assault for slashing the neck of a man with a knife on Saturday.
The court documents show that Kawam is accused of assault in a separate case for allegedly attacking another person on that same day.
Kawam, who was back in court in Surrey, British Columbia on Monday, remains in custody and will appear in court again on Wednesday.
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Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they discovered during their investigation that “the suspect made several concerning comments,” leading investigators to notify the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
RCMP said the enforcement team consulted with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada on the terrorism charges.
A slashing suspect in Canada has been charged with four counts of terrorism-related counts.
“The amended charges relate to allegations the assaults were carried out for the Islamic State,” police say in a statement issued Monday.
Supt. David Teboul, acting deputy criminal operations officer for the federal policing branch, said they are committed to “uncovering all the facts relating to this disturbing and unprovoked assault.”
The terror charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
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Transit police say one man allegedly took out a knife and slashed the other across the throat, before being arrested at the scene by transit police and Surrey RCMP officers.
Transit police say that the man also allegedly displayed and held a knife to the throat of another individual at a bus stop about four blocks from the scene of the other crime, just before the slashing attack. That person was able to push the assailant away and escape unharmed, police say.