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The perpetrator of the London attack is a terrorist | London attack: trial of the accused

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The perpetrator of the attack, which killed four members of a Muslim family in London in 2021, will receive his sentence Today. (Archive photo)

  • Katherine Brulotte (View profile)Katherine Brulotte

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The attack on a Muslim family in London in 2021 was motivated by hatred and Islamophobia and is therefore considered an act of terrorism, the Ontario Superior Court determined.

Nathaniel Veltman, 23, was convicted in November of the premeditated murders of four members of the Afzaal family and attempted murder of the youngest of the family. The family was hit by the man's truck while walking in the neighborhood.

The crown had requested that the act committed by Nathaniel Veltman be designated as an act of terrorism. The murderer was convicted in November of the premeditated murders of four members of the Afzaal family

Madiha Salman, 44 , her husband Salman Afzaal, 46, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her grandmother Talat Afzaal were killed in the attack. The couple's son was seriously injured.

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The Afzaal family. From left to right: Yumna Afzaal, Madiha Salman, Talat Afzaal and Salman Afzaal (File photo)

London attack: trial of the accused

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London attack: trial of the accused

Consult the complete file


The judge of the Superior Court, Renée Pomerance, announced from the outset in the context reading his sentencing decision for Nathaniel Veltman that the murderer left his apartment on the evening of June 6, 2021 with the intention of killing Muslims.

The magistrate recalled that he was a savvy consumer of far-right content on the Internet and manifestos linked to the ideology of white supremacy.

The judge says the murderer wanted to inspire other acts of violence. Nathaniel Veltman remained impassive upon reading the decision.

The perpetrator of first degree murder is automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The sentence for attempted murder can vary.

Judge Renée Pomerance will also determine on Thursday whether The attack represented an act of terrorism.

The Crown argued during the trial that Nathaniel Veltman was a white supremacist who planned to commit a violent act, while the defense argued that his actions were not terrorism because he did not did not share the beliefs.

Canadian terrorism laws were invoked for the first time in a trial for first degree murder.

The victims' relatives spoke of an insurmountable emotional disaster during the hearing of sentencing in January. They were then able to describe who the family members were.

Salman Afzaal, the father of the family, was the most radiant person, said his sister, Ayesha Shaukat. His brother was overflowing with kindness.

Mr. Afzaal had worked in a long-term care home as a physiotherapist for nine years. He played cricket several times a week and regularly attended the London mosque.

When she was a freshman cycle in Pakistan, Madiha Salman was the only woman in her engineering program. But that didn't discourage her, her mother, Tabinda Bukhari, told the audience.

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Tabinda Bukhari, the mother of Madiha Salman, one of the victims of the London attack in 2021, was one of the relatives heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. (Archive image)

She became my best friend growing up. We have a wonderful bond and discuss all kinds of topics.

A quote from Tabinda Bukhari, about her daughter, Madiha Salman

Talat Afzaal was a retired teacher and artist who mostly painted landscapes, until she began creating cartoon characters for her grandchildren.

Mrs. Afzaal was a woman of grace and compassion according to her daughter, Ayesha Shauka.

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Several relatives have returned tribute to the family during the sentencing hearing. (Archive image)

Friends of Yumna Afzaal praised the girl during the court hearing worth it.

Yumna was more than a friend: she was a confidante, a support network, a classmate, a study partner and a keeper of secrets, said her friend, Maryam Alsabawi.

Not a day goes by that I don't think to her.

A quote from Maryam Alsabawi, about her friend, Yumna Afzaal

The boy who survived the attack, who cannot be named, for his part lamented that it had prevented him from celebrating his sister's 18th birthday and seeing his parents become grandparents.

He said he missed his mother's meals, as did prayers with his father at the mosque. I can no longer talk to my family and make new memories, he said in a statement read on his behalf.

With information from The Canadian Press

  • Katherine Brulotte (View profile)Katherine BrulotteSuivre
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116