CF stabbing suspect had access to baggage at Toronto airport
Ayanle Hassan Ali arrives in a police car at a Toronto court house on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, March 17, 2016 11:45AM EDT
The man accused of attacking Canadian Forces members with a knife at a Toronto recruitment centre briefly worked as a ramp agent at Pearson Airport, CTV News has learned.
Ayanle Hassan Ali, 27, worked the night shift at the airport, handling baggage and loading aircraft for a contractor, airport sources told CTV News. He was hired in December of 2008 and terminated after less than a month, due to poor attendance.
The Greater Toronto Airport Authority confirmed on Thursday that Ali "worked for a third-party tenant" at the airport. A spokesperson said Ali also carried restricted access identification card that allowed him to access secure areas at the facility.
Ali was arrested after an incident on Monday at a government building in a north Toronto neighbourhood. He appeared in court Tuesday to face nine charges stemming from the incident, including three counts of attempted murder and assault with a weapon.
A uniformed officer was slashed with a knife in the initial attack, and another Canadian Forces member was stabbed in a struggle to subdue the suspect.
Police have said the suspect yelled that Allah told him to carry out the attack.
Ali was identified by police on Tuesday as a Montreal-born man who has been living in Toronto for about five years.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the attacker a "lone wolf," who was "perhaps inspired by a kind of copycat mentality."
Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose has labelled the incident a terror attack. However, the federal government has not gone so far as to say that's the case.
"The investigation is ongoing and we, the police and the investigative authorities, will determine the facts as they unfold," Goodale said on Tuesday.
Investigators searched Ali's home, which he shares with his mother and sister, on Wednesday.
With files from CTV News' Mercedes Stephenson