The Current

Edmonton attack suspect 'known to police'

The man in custody for a double attack in Edmonton this past weekend was known to police since 2015.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif allegedly ran down pedestrians in downtown Edmonton while driving a U-Haul truck on Sept. 30, 2017. (CBC News)

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After a football game on the night of Sept. 30, Edmonton police swiftly identified a double attack where a police officer was first struck by a car and then attacked by the driver with a knife.

Later, four pedestrians were plowed into by a van which police say was driven by the same suspect.

Police were quick to announce they were investigating the incidents as acts of terrorism after a black ISIS flag was seized from the car. 

"He is being investigated for several offences: participation in a terrorist attack; commission of an offence for a terrorist group. There are five counts of attempted murder," Edmonton CBC reporter Andrea Huncar tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti, early morning.

CBC News has identified the man now charged as 30-year-old Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, a man Huncar says is not known in Edmonton's Somali community or the wider Muslim community.

"So the thought is perhaps he was a loner or an outsider," Huncar says. 

'Alberta we must stand together in defence of our loved ones, friends and neighbours'

4 years ago
Premier Rachel Notley responded Sunday morning to the suspected terror attack in Edmonton, saying "hatred has no place in Alberta." 3:12

However, Sharif was known to police. Huncar says he first came to their attention in 2015 when police received a complaint.

"They say that he was displaying signs of extremism. The integrated national security enforcement team investigated. They interviewed him," Huncar explains.

"But RCMP said yesterday there were no signs of recruitment or radicalization to violence and it was concluded he wasn't a threat." ​

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Listen to the full segment near the top of this web post including analyst Aisha Ahmad.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino.