Authorities are downplaying any link between terrorism and Monday’s van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others.
While Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said he could not tie Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill to any terrorist groups, he insisted Monday night that there is no “avenue that we won’t explore … we open all the lanes at the start.”
Police arrested Minassian after Monday afternoon’s deadly van attack in the Yonge St.-Sheppard Ave. area. Saunders refused to say what charges might be laid while speaking at a Monday night press conference with Mayor John Tory, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
None of the allegations against Minassian have been proven.
A LinkedIn profile in Minassian’s name said he attended Seneca College from 2011-18 and resides in Richmond Hill. The page lists just nine connections and only one interest: the Seneca College page.
Minassian appears to have created an app called Toronto Green Parking Advisor, released on the Google Play store on Dec. 24, 2014. The app, which displays parking lots near the user or another location, wasn’t a hit: The number of installs was listed as “100+” and most of the handful of reviews were posted after Monday’s attack.
NBC investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst tweeted that Minassian is believed to have researched and chatted online about a 2014 shooting in which six students were killed as a gunman drove around in Isla Vista, Calif.
“Mental illness, not terror, a leading theory for today’s incident, according to three officials,” Dienst wrote.
A blog entry in September 2014, entitled Seneca Health Research Projects, listed Minassian as a new team member. The blog was about projects at Seneca’s Centre for Development of Open Technology that are related to health care, and the 2013 post said Minassian had “starting working in CDOT.”