The charges against Mohammad Moise Omar, a 24-year-old Mississauga resident, include assault with a weapon; administration of poisonous substances with the intent to endanger life or cause bodily harm; possession of dangerous weapons; a clear threat of death or bodily harm; carrying a concealed weapon; and causing damage to religious property, the report said.
Noonrani Sairally, who has been visiting the mosque for more than a decade, told CNN on Monday that he heard the noise about 7 to 10 minutes after the congregation began their morning prayers.
“I heard a hiss through the sound system followed by a scream and when I turned around I saw this man with a can of bear spray and an ax in his hand,” he said.
According to Sayralli, it was then that the believers, lined up in the center of the mosque, immediately approached the attacker and knocked him to the ground.
“He (the attacker) didn’t realize that the spray was making a noise and that immediately caught the attention of the people in the front row,” Sairalli said. “One of the young guys in this row saw a hatchet and very quickly knocked it out of his hands. Then everyone quickly jumped on him and pushed him to the floor.”
Sairally said the attacker did not say anything while the congregation waited for the police to arrive because he had inhaled the bear spray and was having trouble breathing.
Parishioners suffered minor injuries from the bear spray, according to police.
A bail hearing was held at the Ontario Court in Brampton on Saturday.
“Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our community and we take it very seriously,” Superintendent Rob Higgs, commander of the 12th Division, said in a press release. “This is an ongoing investigation by the Division 12 Bureau of Criminal Investigation and we will continue to work closely with our community partners as our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Division Mobilization Officers continue to engage with religious leaders and community members.” .
Mississauga is located about 15 miles southwest of Toronto in the province of Ontario.