“As 2015 draws to a close, the number of terrorist killings this year has reached 378, meaning there was an average of just over one terrorist attack every day. Hundreds have died across the globe and invariably the killers are Muslim, claiming to kill in the name of Islam, to obtain the pleasure of Allah. Was Saudi-born Nabil Huruy one of the many killers motivated by a jihadi understanding of Islam? We will never know. Perhaps we don’t want to.“
December 30, 2015
The Toronto Sun
It was early morning on the anniversary of 9/11 on September 11, 2013 when Toronto Police Constable Alexi Prodanos, working the midnight shift, got a call at 6:00 a.m. about a ‘break and entry’ at the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, popularly known as the Nugget Mosque in Scarborough.
Const. Prodanos arrived on the scene, and spoke to the caretaker. He points to a young man walking away on Nugget Ave. carrying some bags. The police officer detained the suspect.
He is 23-year-old Nabil Huruy, who two days later will commit a horrific murder —repeatedly stabbing in the face and head with a kitchen knife Dominic Parker, a Markham firefighter who also served with the 48th Highlanders, a reserve unit of the Canadian military in Toronto.
Const. Prodoanos confiscated the clothing and pair of shoes that Huruy said he took from the donation box in the mosque, and releases him with a warning not to trespass.
Later, at the preliminary hearing on a first-degree murder charge, Const. Prodanos would testify that when he detained Huruy, the young man started “talking about Allah, etc.”
The mosque incident is not Huruy’s only contact with police on that 9/11 anniversary.
At 3:07 p.m., OPP Const. Brian Bailey receives a radio call saying somebody is standing on the Morningside Bridge overlooking Highway 401. Bailey spots Huruy wearing a “metal ring” around his neck, which turns out to be from a traffic sign. Huruy tells police he “wanted a piece of the highway because it was the Highway of Heroes,” travelled by funeral convoys of Canadian Forces personnel killed fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, from CFB Trenton to the coroner’s office in Toronto.
An ambulance takes Huruy to Centenary Hospital where he is examined briefly and released. He is never taken into custody.
Two days later, on the night of September 13, 2013, Huruy heads to Rotana Café in Toronto’s Danforth and Coxwell area where he ran into Dominic Parker playing cards with other café patrons.
Just after midnight, Huruy got up and attacked the off-duty firefighter, straddling him and stabbing him repeatedly, the final blow driving the knife blade all the way into Parker’s left jaw, between the ear and chin. Two days later Parker died in hospital and Huruy was charged with first-degree murder.
Earlier this month, Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer found Huruy not criminally responsible in the stabbing death of the firefighter cum reserve soldier.
In his ruling, Nordheimer said experts concluded that Huruy likely suffers from schizophrenia and did not know his actions were morally wrong.
One question left unspoken and unaddressed is the role religion might have played in the actions or schizophrenia of Nabil Huruy.
Never in the court proceedings did anybody say that the events began on the anniversary of the al-Qaida terrorist attacks against the United States. Evidence that Huruy was “talking about Allah, etc.” was never referred to again. Instead of “Highway of Heroes,” many police witnesses exclusively used the term “Highway 401.” At no point in the proceedings was Parker’s status as a reserve soldier mentioned.
As 2015 draws to a close, the number of terrorist killings this year has reached 378, meaning there was an average of just over one terrorist attack every day. Hundreds have died across the globe and invariably the killers are Muslim, claiming to kill in the name of Islam and for obtaining the pleasure of Allah.
Was Saudi-born Nabil Huruy one of the many killers motivated by a jihadi understanding of Islam? We will never know. Perhaps we don’t want to.