Canadian police foil attack on Toronto high school

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A 17-year-old boy has been arrested over an alleged plan to carry out an attack against the Oakwood Collegiate Institute in Toronto, police say. It was allegedly timed to coincide with the anniversary of a 1989 school massacre.

The investigation began on December 1 when the Toronto Police Service became aware of a blog post that made specific threats of violence against the Oakwood Collegiate Institute, which is located in Toronto.

“He listed specific things he would do to cause harm at the school and he made mention of the Montreal massacre,” said Detective Sgt. Paul Qureshi, referring to the 1989 shooting and stabbing attack at École Polytechnique in Montreal.

The blog post was posted from a computer that belongs to the Toronto District School Board, but investigators were able to identity the student who had used it. The text of the blog post has not been released.

The boy was arrested on Monday when the Emergency Task Force of the Toronto Police Service executed a search warrant at his home. During the search, police seized a number of weapons, including a machete, hatchet, swords, and knives. Computers and a cell phone were also seized.

The suspect, whose name cannot be released due to his age, has been charged with one count of Uttering threats of bodily harm and one count of Uttering threats of death. He made his first court appearance on Tuesday.

The Ecole Polytechnique massacre happened on December 6, 1989, when Marc Lépine, 25, went on a shooting and stabbing spree at the school, killing 14 women before killing himself. Lépine specifically targeted women, saying he was “fighting feminism” and blaming feminists for ruining his life.

A possible motive for the plot in Toronto was not immediately known, but the Toronto Police Service said the suspect had not expressed a hatred of women. He made the references to Montreal because of the timing and the anniversary, police said.

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