28-year-old Bezhani Sarvar is facing six charges including arson, possessing incendiary materials, throwing an explosive substance, use of a firearm while committing an offence, careless use of a firearm and discharging a firearm into a building after launching an armed attack at Edmonton City Hall.
Despite carrying a long rifle and at least one Molotov cocktail, Bezhani Sarvar was apprehended by an unarmed commissionaire prior to anyone being injured in the attack, though shots were fired in the building and at least one fire was set.
Rebel News obtained and shared a video allegedly featuring Sarvar, in which the suspected attacker is seated in a vehicle dawning a black commissionaires security jacket while denoting several of his motivations for carrying out what he referred to as a “mission”.
The video lasts just over four minutes and covers a wide array of subjects including but not limited to concern over inflation, political corruption, immigration and wokeism, all of which are popular topics of concern in conservative circles over the last few years.
The man believed to be Sarvar also frequently uses common Muslim expressions in the video, suggesting he is of the Muslim faith, and makes repeated mentions of the situation in Gaza, including emphasizing the need to end what he calls a “genocide” and to hold countries who interfere or impose on foreign nations accountable.
Considering the increasing tensions and escalations at anti-Israel protests across Canada, and the fact that the subject is raised on numerous occasions in the video, questions remain as to how heavily this factored into his attack and whether he was radicalized by anti-Israeli rhetoric.
Details remain sparse, and the four-minute manifesto covers so many topics that narrowing in a singular motivating factor without further information on Sarvar is difficult if not impossible.
There is also a series of confounding messages contained in video, including repeated assertions from the individual believed to be Sarvar that he is peaceful and would not hurt anyone and that life should be honoured, despite the video serving as an apparent preamble to what was likely intended to be a violent attack.
While authorities have not yet included terrorism in the charges that Sarvar is facing, if the manifesto video does indeed feature him, and indications strongly suggest it does, it is difficult to argue that a politically motivated attack on a government building following the release of a manifesto citing political motivations for the attack is not an act of terrorism.
Questions also remain as to how an armed individual was subdued by an unarmed commissionaire, and how despite Sarvar successfully entering the building with a firearm and incendiary materials no one at all was injured.
It is worth noting that it has now been confirmed by The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires that Sarvar had been employed by the Commissionaires since 2019, but had never been assigned security duty at Edmonton City Hall, which solves at least one mystery in explaining how he came to possess the security jacket he wore during the attack.
Details on this case will likely emerge in the coming months, motivations may become clear, and answers as to what exactly happened on the day of the attack will come to light as court proceedings unfold. It seems clear, if the individual in the video manifesto is indeed Bezhani Sarvar, that this attack had political motivations and was therefore an act of terror.
Whether police act on this fact and include terror charges remains to be seen. A bail hearing for Sarvar has been scheduled for February 2 and we will provide you with details and updates on this story as it unfolds.
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