Canadian reportedly killed in Mogadishu court attack
News that former resident involved raises concern in Toronto Somali community
An attack that left more than two dozen dead in Somalia on the weekend appears to have involved a Canadian, news that is raising concern within Toronto's Somali community.
Somalia’s Supreme Court complex was attacked in Mogadishu on Sunday, a two-hour assault that authorities say involved at least six suicide bombings and two car bombs.
The extremist group known as al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following the attack, reports emerged that one of the dead attackers was a Toronto man named Mahad Ali Dhore, who previously lived in a North York highrise.
The RCMP told CBC News it was aware of the reports and is trying to determine the identity of the suspected Canadian militant.
CBC News has learned that the family has been told Dhore was killed in Sunday's attack in Somalia.
News of Dhore's possible involvement in the attack is raising concern in Toronto's Somali community.
"Shocking and disgusting to see one of us, especially a Canadian, [may be involved]," Abdi Aziz Ibrahim told CBC's Lorenda Reddekopp on Monday.
Aziz, who works at a bakery and moved from Somalia more than 20 years ago, says militant groups are targeting young Somalis and trying to recruit them.
"If they can recruit young, educated Canadian people, how about those people inside Somalia who have no schools, no basic education?"
Dhore was a student at York University, where he studied math and history. But five years ago, he left the country, reportedly to join al-Shabaab a group linked to al-Qaeda. He's one of at least six young men from the same Toronto-based Abu Huraira mosque to join an extremist group overseas.
'We can't rule out anything'
Saed Rageah is the former Imam at the Abu Huraira mosque. He thought of Dhore as a future youth leader and was surprised when the young man left the country.
"We can't rule out anything," said Rageah. "I don't think a young man would leave here simply because of something he saw on the Internet. There are too many people dealing with the same situation, and we only see a few of them, and we don't know who's really working behind the shadows."
On Monday, Somali officials offered conflicting figures on the people killed in the Mogadishu attack.
Somali's prime minister said 29 people had died, while a Somali legislator said the death toll was 35. It was not immediately clear if the former total included the attackers.
Abdi Farah Shirdon, the prime minister, said that several experienced foreign fighters were involved, though he did not provide details on which countries they came from.
"We are concerned about the foreign involvement in this attack and this is why we are working so hard with our international partners on security and intelligence sharing. Once again we see that terrorism is an international problem," Shirdon said in a statement.
Click on the video above to see a report from the CBC's John Lancaster.
With files from Lorenda Reddekopp, The Associated Press