Terrorism charges laid against man accused of Edmonton City Hall attack

The Canadian Press

Published on Monday, March 4, 2024 12:06 pm EST

Last updated Monday, March 4, 2024 1:47 pm EST

EDMONTON — Mounties announced terrorism charges Monday against a man accused of firing a gun and lighting a Molotov cocktail at Edmonton City Hall in January.

Bezhani Sarvar, 28, is charged with commission of advisory commission of a terrorism offense and possession of property for terrorist purposes, the RCMP Federal Police Integrated National Security Enforcement Team said.

INSET said those charges are combined with nine others that constitute terrorism offences, including intentionally or recklessly causing fire or explosion damage to property knowing that the property was inhabited, intentionally possessing incendiary material while committing an indictable offence, using a firearm while committing an indictable crime and intentionally discharging a firearm while being reckless as to the life and safety of another person.

Sarvar is also charged with two counts of possession of a prohibited device, mischief, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing a crime.

Edmonton police had previously announced six charges against Sarvar, including arson, possession of incendiary material and reckless discharge of a firearm.

“INSET would like to recognize the exceptional work performed by the Edmonton Police Service and their assistance in the ongoing national security investigation,” the RCMP said in a news release.

Police in Alberta’s capital have said a heavily armed man entered city hall on Jan. 23 through an underground parking lot, fired a gun and ignited several small incendiary devices, causing a small fire outside an elevator.

No one was hurt, but the bullets shattered glass and pierced ceilings and walls.

Edmonton police said the man dropped the firearm to the ground and surrendered to a city hall safety commissioner, who detained him until police arrived.

The building was filled with people during the shooting, including a class of first graders. City police and RCMP tactical teams spent several hours securing and clearing the building, escorting citizens who had taken shelter in various locations.

Edmonton police said the shooter acted alone.

They said they were reviewing a video posted by a man wearing a sheriff’s jacket. In the video, the man presents a rambling manifesto, denouncing everything from so-called “wokeness” to the fighting in Gaza to unhealthy diets.

Sarvar did not speak during a court appearance last month.

The lawyer who represented Sarvar, David Ibrahim, said his client is from Edmonton and has a father and brother-in-law in the city. The man in the video identified himself as a husband and father.

RCMP say Sarvar is being held at the Calgary Private Detention Center and will appear in court on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2024.

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