Financing the Toronto Massage Parlour Attack
Earlier this September, the man who brutally killed a 24-year old women and stabbed two other individuals at a Toronto massage parlour in 2020, pleaded guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. As the accused was 17 years old at the time of the killing, he cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and thus details related to the attack are limited. However, court details outline that the man cited Alek Minassian’s 2018 Toronto van rampage as ‘inspiration’ for the attack.
The perpetrator’s connections to the incel ideology led to the RCMP also pursuing terrorism charges against the man. Although the legislation has been in place for decades, terrorism is a crime rarely prosecuted in Canada. For the most part, only individuals tied to religiously motivated violent extremism have been charged with terrorism. This case thus marks the first-time terrorism charges have been laid in connection to an act of misogynistic violence.
Although there is limited information due to the publication bans associated with this case, in the following article we’ll outline the facts of the attack as well as highlight the financial elements.
In February 2020, a 17-year old man in a long, dark trench coat and sword attached to his belt walked approximately 2 kilometers from his home to Crown Spa in Toronto’s North York neighbourhood. Upon entering the spa, the man immediately began stabbing the Spa’s receptionist, 24-year old Ashley Noell Arzag. The nearly half-metre-long sword used in the attack was inscribed with the words “thot slayer” - “thot” being a derogatory term used against women, implying sexual promiscuity.
After hearing screaming, the spa’s owner came to investigate and was stabbed by the perpetrator. The owner managed to disarm the man after significant struggle and eventually stabbed him in the back, ending the rampage. The woman then managed to call the police from a neighboring business. The perpetrator was arrested with a note in his pocket reading “Long live the rebellion of the incels”. When asked why he carried the note, he told police "I wanted everyone to find it. I wanted the world to know that people like us exist and it's not really fair." The perpetrator’s clear connections to an ideological motive is what caused the RCMP to tie the murder and attempted murder charges to terrorism.