Toronto "incel" attack classified as terrorism

The scene of a stabbing near Downsview

The same thing that allegedly pushed Alec Minassian to drive a van into dozens of people along Yonge Street, is allegedly the same thing that pushed a teen to stab two people at a North York spa in February.

Incel is the movement, where followers who are "involuntary celibates" claim they hate women because they haven't been able to find a girlfriend. Many believe they are entitled to sex.

Now, police say the boy who is in custody, is a follower of the movement, and for the first time, have associated terrorism charges with the murder.

The boy is believed to have used a machete in the attack at the massage parlour near Dufferin and Wilson

The RCMP says the original charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder against a 17-year-old boy, have been increased to first-degree murder - terrorist activity and attempted murder - terrorist activity.

"This is not a typical terrorism charge, so it's a different section of the criminal code. This is a murder terroroism charge," according to Stephanie Carvin, an assistant professor specializing in terrorism at Carleton University in Ottawa. "Our authorities are sending a signal that terrorism doesn't just come from one cause."

She says many of these attacks are lone wolf attacks, meaning the suspect acts alone. Planning is often done in secret, so it's tough to try and stop.

"What we do know from research is that in 50% of these lone actor attacks, someone, some bystander knew that something was off and something was going on," says Carvin. So, she says now it is more important than ever to report your suspicions to the authorities.

She says it's important to start having the conversations in public about movements like these, so we can move towards stopping events like these before they start.