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Bail Delayed for Somali Immigrant Charged in Canada Attack

A Canadian court delayed a bail hearing on Tuesday for a Somali immigrant accused of a weekend vehicle and knife attack that injured five people, to give prosecutors more time to hand over evidence.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, is accused of running down a police officer with his car in Edmonton, Alberta, and then stabbing the officer repeatedly. Sharif then allegedly ran down four pedestrians during an attempt to evade capture.

Sharif, who faces 11 charges including five counts of attempted murder, appeared via video in an Edmonton court wearing an orange jail uniform. He had a Somali interpreter, although he did not speak. He occasionally looked down or clasped his hands in front of him and still bore facial bruises that police say he sustained while evading capture.

A community leader, Mahamad Accord, who did not speak to Sharif but learned about him from the local diaspora, said Sharif is from a Somali ethnic minority and was little known in the community.

 Edmonton police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sharif’s lawyer, Chady Moustarah, said he had stepped in on short notice to help someone without representation, but that the accused would have to find another lawyer going forward. Sharif remains in custody until his next court appearance, scheduled for Nov. 14.

Sharif came to Canada in 2012 and was granted refugee status in the same year, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has said.

Though targeted in a probe two years ago for promoting extremist ideology, Sharif was deemed to pose no threat after what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has described as an “exhaustive investigation.”

Despite the incident, Canada’s government said it was keeping the country’s terrorism threat level at medium, where it has been since late 2014 after two deadly attacks attributed to homegrown radicals.

 

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ethan Lou; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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