Nathaniel Veltman charged with terrorism, laughed when arrested for killings
The prosecution upgraded Veltman's four counts of first-degree murder to an act of terrorism during a virtual court appearance
Twenty-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, the White man, who ran over and killed four members of a Canadian Muslim family in June, has reportedly been charged with terror offenses. Veltman was arrested on June 6 after crashing his truck into a family of five, killing Salman Afzaal, his wife Madiha, their daughter Yumna, and Salman’s 74-year-old mother Talat. The surviving family member was the couple's nine-year-old son, Fayez.
As per reports, the prosecution upgraded Veltman's four counts of first-degree murder to an act of terrorism under section 83 of the Criminal Code, during a virtual court appearance Veltman made on Monday, June 14, from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Center.
The section of Canadian law states that “Every person who knowingly participates in or contributes to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group for the purpose of enhancing the ability of any terrorist group to facilitate or carry out a terrorist activity, is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years.” Veltman also faces one count of attempted murder due to terrorist activity.
Law enforcement authorities have alleged that Veltman’s act was a planned and premeditated attack targeting Muslims, claiming that under Canadian law Veltman's offenses constitute terrorism because they were committed “with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security.”
Sarah Shaikh of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) said in court: "Mr Veltman, you are now charged with four counts of first-degree murder. In addition to the allegation that these murders were planned and deliberate, the further allegation is that they also constitute terrorism."
Police have also reportedly reassured the public that “there is no further known or suspected threat to the public associated” with the accused at this time but added the investigation was ongoing and being carried out by both London Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
As per a report in the London Free Press, Veltman laughed as police took him into custody in a mall parking lot, a traumatized taxi driver who witnessed the arrest said. The taxi driver was reportedly outside Cherryhill Village Mall on Oxford Street on a coffee break shortly before 9 pm Sunday when a black pickup truck entered the nearly deserted lot and parked behind him.
The driver’s boss, speaking on behalf of the traumatized driver, said that Veltman was wearing what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest, a military-style helmet, and clothing that perhaps had swastikas on it. Lighting a cigarette, he reportedly told the cab driver to call the police, saying he had just killed someone. When cops arrived and got him out of the vehicle, he was reportedly laughing. At the same time, Veltman allegedly asked the cabbie to record his arrest.
Veltman has yet to find a lawyer and enter a plea. He made his first appearance in court last Thursday, June 10, and spoke only to confirm his personal information. Veltman´s next court date is scheduled for June 21. Veltman reportedly worked as a part-time shipping employee at Gray Ridge Egg Farms, an egg-packing facility in Strathroy, Ontario.