A man arrested for attempted murder after a bus rider’s throat was slashed in Surrey on Saturday morning is now facing four terrorism-related charges, accused of committing the crime on behalf of the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS.
The victim was attacked on a route 503 Coast Mountain bus at Fraser Highway and 148 Street. He was rushed to Royal Columbian Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Abdul Aziz Kawam was arrested by Surrey Mounties and Metro Vancouver Transit Police.
Staff Sergeant Kris Clark, of RCMP’s “E” division, said Kawam’s arrest related to two assaults, at a bus stop, and on the bus.
Clark said Monday night the Federal Policing’s BC (E Division) Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (EINSET) assumed conduct of the investigation on Sunday, in consultation with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC).
Kawam has been charged with attempting to commit murder, in association with a terrorist group, assault causing bodily harm, in association with a terrorist group, aggravated assault, in association with a terrorist group and assault with a weapon, in association with a terrorist group.
Kawam appeared in Surrey provincial court on Monday and remains in custody pending his next appearance.
Superintendent David Teboul, acting deputy criminal operations officer in charge of the Federal Policing Branch in B.C., said police “remain committed to uncovering all the facts relating to this disturbing and unprovoked assault, and value the work and collaboration from our policing partners, the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and Surrey RCMP Detachment.”
On Monday, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth told reporters in Victoria that “information came to light which showed allegations of links to a terrorist organization. When that happens, that is then taken over by the federal RCMP under the legislation at the federal level and the federal Crown prosecution service then takes over the case and the charges. That’s where things are right now and that’s the information I’m able to give at this point.
“What I can tell you is police acted very quickly, apprehended the individual, the intelligence services obviously became aware of some allegations, they are very much on top of it,” Farnworth said.