G7 Security Ministers Talk About ‘Soft Targets’ After Nearby Toronto Van Attack

REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
Font Size:

The Trudeau government is insisting Monday’s hit-and-run van attack on a major Toronto thoroughfare had nothing to do with terrorism but G7 security ministers meeting in the city are discussing how “soft targets” are easy pickings for terrorists.

As CBC News reports, these public locations without any dedicated security are always vulnerable to assault — whether by a lone wolf or an organized terrorist unit.

Suspect Alek Minassian stands charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 of attempted murder after he appeared in Toronto courtroom Tuesday.

The carnage prompted a discussion at the G7 security summit that is being held in Toronto this week, according to CBC News. The government officials are discussing how best to deal with attacks that are difficult if not impossible to predict.

In a brief news conference before they went behind closed doors Tuesday, security ministers commented on the van attack. Britain’s representative, Ben Wallace, praised the work of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) while Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale referred to the aftermath of the murderous incident as a “very large homicide investigation.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons Tuesday as he again reiterated the government’s belief that there is no “national security element” to the assault.

“Obviously, all Canadians continue and will continue to have questions about why this happened, what could possibly be the motives behind it,” he said. “As was indicated last night, at this time we have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack, but obviously, the investigations continue.”

Terrorists have recently used vehicles to execute terrorist attacks in Nice, France and Berlin.

Follow David on Twitter