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Police investigating violent threats against Toronto mosque

Toronto police say they're investigating threats made to a local mosque over the weekend.

Const. Edward Parks says officers were contacted about a "suspicious incident" on Saturday.

He says no arrests have been made and no suspect information is available.

The police confirmation came after a national Muslim organization shared an excerpt from violent messages it said the mosque received on Saturday.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims did not identify the specific mosque for fear it would make it the target of further threats.

It said the messages included the threat to "do a Christ church all over again," referring to the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019 in which a gunman killed 51 people.

The alleged threat came just days after the council — among other human rights groups — called on the federal government to come up with a plan to dismantle white supremacist groups.

The council noted in a statement that Toronto's Muslim community is still reeling from the death of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, a 58-year-old volunteer caretaker who was stabbed to death outside a Toronto mosque last month.

Guilherme "William" Von Neutegem has been charged with first-degree murder in Zafis' death and is set to return to court on Nov. 5.

Investigators said last month that there was no known motive or relationship between the victim and the accused.

However, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network alleges that social media accounts under the name William Von Neutegem show a chant and symbol on YouTube associated with a neo-Nazi group that encourages killings.

It also alleges an account with the same name follows a white supremacist on Twitter. The Canadian Press has not verified that the accounts belong to the accused.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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