A Canadian man, Nathaniel Veltman, is on trial for killing nine members of a Muslim family in a horrific act that sent shockwaves through London, Ontario in June 2021.
Nathaniel Veltman Faces Criminal Charges
According to AFP’s reporting, the trial of Canadian citizen Nathaniel Veltman, age 22, started on September 11. He is accused of serious crimes. Veltman is facing accusations of first-degree murder on four counts and attempted murder on a fifth. Veltman has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Nathaniel Veltman Targeting the Afzaal Family with Malice
Prosecutor Sara Shaikh made this point clear in her opening statement: Nathaniel Veltman specifically targeted Muslims with the intent to kill.
During a random nighttime stroll, Veltman and the Afzaal family crossed paths. When Veltman saw the family, he swerved his pickup truck onto the sidewalk and sped straight towards them.
Several people were launched into the air with great force in a couple of seconds. Clothing from one or more victims was found entangled between the front grille and bumper of Veltman’s vehicle, adding extra weight to the crime.
At least four people from the Afzaal family were killed in this tragic event. Salman Afzaal (age 46), his mother Talat Afzaal (age 74), his wife Madiha Salman (age 44), and their daughter Yumnah (age 15) were all killed. A little child of nine years old was the tragic fifth casualty.
During the trial, Shaikh made the following statement: “He drove his truck at them.” The crucial phrase here is “he floored the gas.”
After doing his evil crime, Veltman was quickly captured at a local mall. When he was taken into custody, he was wearing a full suit of body armour and a helmet.
The prosecution claims that Veltman’s confession to the planned assault was recorded during a 911 call. Veltman said, “I am the one who did this,” in a taped statement. I intended to do it.
While in police detention, he reportedly told investigators that he committed the crime because he wanted to “send a strong message” against Muslim immigration.
Strong Support for Extremist Theories
The police had convincing evidence in the form of texts that advocated opposition to mass immigration and white nationalism. Police also found a number of knives and an air gun in vehicle of Nathaniel Veltman.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has called these killings a “terrorist attack driven by hatred.”
Since the sad mosque massacre in Quebec City in 2017 that took the lives of six people, this heartbreaking occurrence has become the worst anti-Muslim act to occur in Canada. The attacker in the incident was not convicted of terrorism.
Nathaniel Veltman’s trial is groundbreaking since it is the first in Canada to deal with white nationalist terrorism.