Suspects behind fatal 2021 Ontario restaurant shooting allegedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State: Crown

The victim, 25-year-old Naim Akl, became a target when he discovered the group's loyalties and intended to report them to Canadian authorities, according to Crown Attorney David D’Iorio.

Suspects behind fatal 2021 Ontario restaurant shooting allegedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State: Crown
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A gunman who is accused of killing an Ontario man and shooting four of his relatives was allegedly part of a group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a Crown attorney said during an opening statement in the Brampton murder trial this week.

The victim, 25-year-old Naim Akl, became a target when he discovered the group's loyalties and intended to report them to Canadian authorities, according to Crown Attorney David D’Iorio. The group operated a warehouse business in the Greater Toronto Area.

“They weren’t just buying and selling products. They had pledged allegiance to ISIS, the Islamic State, and money was being used to finance that organization  sent back home to further that cause,” D’Iorio told the jury earlier this week, as reported by CTV News.

“You will hear evidence that Naim Akl had become aware that… the group had pledged allegiance to ISIS," he continued. "He was planning to go to the authorities and betray the others. It’s our position that the others came up with a plan to prevent that from happening: a plan to kill Naim Akl and his family."

D'Iorio identified the gunman as Anand Nath and the getaway driver as Suliman Raza who were said to be following the orders of Naqash Abassi. All three have been charged with one count of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

The charges have not been proven in court.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a recognized terrorist group in Canada and has taken responsibility for several horrific attacks previously.

D’Iorio stated that Akl had converted to Islam without informing his parents, who would not have approved and had begun working for Abassi’s warehouse business.

In May of 2021, members of the family worked at the Chicken Land restaurant in Mississauga. D'Iorio said that family members were preparing food during the dinner rush when a hooded man entered the restaurant and was seen pulling out a gun. He then shoots several members of the family.

Witnesses reported seeing a slim man run towards a getaway car and jump into the trunk as it sped away before any first responders arrived.

On Friday, the jury viewed approximately 70 videos from dashcams, surveillance cameras, and traffic cameras that tracked the Honda Accord returning to Abassi’s warehouse.

Police say they found ISIS propaganda on the phones of the accused, and records of Raza's phone saw searches for "What are the sentences for a getaway driver."

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