Canadian law enforcement has levelled terrorism charges against a teenager who belonged the burgeoning INCEL, or involuntary celibate, movement and was allegedly involved in the murder of a woman in Toronto this February.
This is a precedent setting action and the first time ever that a killing or violence related to INCELs has been formally described as terrorism. Experts believe that this action will help broaden the application of terrorism charges in other instance that are motived by ideology.
The 17-year-old charged with terrorism has not been named since he is a minor. In a rampage on February 24, the youth allegedly murdered 24-year-old Ashley Noell Arzaga at the Crown Spa in the city, while also injuring two others. The charges laid against him now are defined as first-degree murder – terrorist activity and attempted murder.
“Terrorism comes in many forms and it’s important to note that it is not restricted to any particular group, religion or ideology,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto Police said in a joint statement. They added that the attack was “inspired by the Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremist (IMVE) movement commonly known as INCEL”.
Canadian national broadcaster CBC described the INCELs as a “misogynistic online movement” where participants “typically express frustration toward women over their own lack of sexual success, and sometimes threaten violence against them”.
Violence related to INCELs has increased in recent years. In 2018, Alex Minassian, also inspired by INCEL, used his van to run over and kill 10 people. Sixteen others were injured in the incident.
Minassian, 25, declared himself to be a soldier in the “INCEL” rebellion. He was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Canadian authorities had said that the majority of the victims were women, ranging in age from their mid-20s to early 80s.
The outlet Global News noted that such attacks have happened in Florida in November 2018 and Texas in June last year.