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Mississauga Mayor Thanks 19-Year-Old Who Stopped Ax-Wielding Attacker At Local Mosque

Police say the man had bear spray and a hatchet.

Toronto Staff Writer
Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie. Right: Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie. Right: Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie says a "much bigger tragedy" was avoided at a local mosque last weekend thanks to the quick thinking of one 19-year-old and other members of the community.

In a press conference on Thursday, Crombie thanked the "courageous" members of the Islamic centre for their heroism after taking down an ax-wielding attacker on Saturday.

"I first want to address the disturbing attack that took place at the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre this past weekend when a man entered the mosque during dawn prayers and shot bear spray at congregants while brandishing a hatchet," said Crombie.

"I'm incredibly thankful for the courage of the worshipers. One as young as 19 years old who quickly sprung into action to take down the attacker and ensure that this didn't become a much bigger tragedy."

According to Peel Regional Police, the "hate-motivated incident" took place on March 19 at around 7 a.m. when a man entered the mosque and allegedly attacked members with bear spray.

Police said "members of the mosque quickly subdued the man" until they arrived and several suffered "minor injuries as a result of the bear spray."

Officers arrested Mohammad Moiz Omar, a 24-year-old from Mississauga, and charged him with assault with a weapon, administering a noxious substance with intent to endanger life or cause bodily harm, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm, carrying a concealed weapon, [and] mischief to religious property.

Crombie said the attack is the "furthest thing" from who they are as a community and that the mosque is looking into precautions to keep congregants safe ahead of Ramadan.

"This deeply saddens me as residents should never feel scared, shaken, or unsafe at places of worship."

Superintendent Rob Higgs, Commander of 12 Division, said they are "taking this matter extremely seriously" and that "violence of any kind is unacceptable" in their community.

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