Canadian authorities said a stabbing at an erotic massage parlour that left a woman dead and another injured was an act of terrorism inspired by violent misogynist ideology.
A 17-year-old boy, whose name has not been released because he’s a minor, was charged with murder and attempted murder after the Feb. 24 stabbing at Crown Spa in Toronto. Police updated his charges on Tuesday to include a terrorism charge.
The attack “was inspired by the Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremist (IMVE) movement commonly known as INCEL,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto Police Service said in a joint statement. “As a result, federal and provincial Attorney Generals have consented to commence terrorism proceedings, alleging that the murder was terrorist activity … and the attempted murder was terrorist activity.”
The term “incel” is internet shorthand for “involuntarily celibate.” It has become the basis for online communities of men who express violent thoughts about women who won’t have sex with them, among other perceived slights.
Det. Paul Worden of the Toronto police homicide squad told CTV News Toronto that the boy was part of an incel extremist movement online.
Police identified 24-year-old Ashley Noelle Arzaga as the lone fatality. The woman injured in the attack said she lost a finger wrestling away the assailant’s machete. She reported that she was able to stab the boy before police arrived.
Worden said it’s the first terrorism charge in Ontario to be related to incel extremism. In 2018, Alek Minassian was charged with killing 10 people and injuring 13 by driving a rental van into pedestrians on Yonge Street in Toronto in what appeared to be an attack inspired by incel extremism.
“The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” a Facebook post belonging to Minassian said prior to the attack. The term “Chads and Stacys” is incel slang for conventionally attractive people, and Rodger has become a symbol of the incel movement after he went on a 2014 murder spree in California before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
At a pretrial hearing following the attack, Minassian took credit for the killings.
“I’m a murdering piece of shit,” he told authorities.