A young man accused of deliberately running over a Pakistani Muslim family in London, Ontario, on June 6 has been charged with terrorism this week.
The charges: The incident, which killed four adults and injured a child, led to multiple charges against the suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, who was arrested shortly after fleeing the scene.
Police said they found evidence showing that the attack was planned, premeditated and “motivated by hate.” They believe Veltman targeted the family “because they were Muslim.”
The 20-year-old was first charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. On Monday, prosecutors added two terrorism charges, CBC News reported.
The maximum penalty for murder with a terroristic motivation is life imprisonment, without the ability to apply for parole for 25 years. This is similar to the maximum penalty for first-degree murder, according to CTV News.
The bigger picture: Politicians and community members have called for action to end Islamophobia in response to the deadly attack.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), an advocacy group, called for a National Action Summit on Islamophobia “to chart a path forward for Canada in ending violence against Muslims.” The letter was signed by over 100 faith-based and civil rights groups.
Subsequently, the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) introduced a unanimous consent motion in parliament that demanded the administration to convene the summit before the end of July. Leader Jagmeet Singh said the motion was passed.
Veltman will return to court on June 21.
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