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Suspect in Canada attack entered US from Mexico in 2011

Suspect in Canada attack entered US from Mexico in 2011 Photo: AP.

October 04, 2017 07:24 PM

TORONTO (AP) — A Somali man accused of attacking a Canadian policeman with a car and knife entered the United States from Mexico on foot in 2011 before a judge ordered his deportation. He later entered Canada and was granted refugee status.

Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk said Wednesday that Hasan Sharif Abdulahi arrived at a port of entry near San Diego on July 12, 2011, with no documents and no legal status to enter.

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Sharif was taken into custody and ordered deported to Somalia in September, 2011. But he was released two months later and then failed to report for his removal on Jan. 24, 2012. Efforts to locate him were unsuccessful. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said Sharif had no known criminal history at the time.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Sharif, 30, entered Canada legally in 2012 and obtained refugee status. A spokesman for Goodale said Sharif entered from the United States through a regular port of entry.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday his government is looking into what happened and whether things need to be done differently than they were five years ago.

Sharif is accused of ramming a car into the Alberta policeman, stabbing him and then leading officers on a high-speed chase in which four bystanders were hurt.

Sharif now faces 11 charges, including five of attempted murder in the attack in Edmonton, Alberta. Police have suggested they will file terrorism charges against Sharif because an Islamic State flag was found in his car. Sharif was also investigated in 2015 for espousing extremist views.

Edmonton police say they believe Sharif acted alone during the series of attacks, which began around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday as police Constable Mike Chernyk was handling crowd control outside a Canadian Football League game at a stadium just northeast of downtown.

Chernyk was hit by a speeding white Chevy Malibu that rammed through a barrier and sent him flying through the air. The driver then got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Chernyk as he lay on the ground. The officer fought back, and the suspect fled on foot.

Police distributed the name and physical description of the Malibu's registered owner and set up roadblocks.

Officers stopped the suspect, who was later driving a U-Haul truck, at a checkpoint.

The driver took off toward downtown and struck four pedestrians along the way, with police in high-speed pursuit. The chase continued until the truck crashed on its side. Officers then used a stun gun on the driver and took him into custody.

Two of the four pedestrians remain hospitalized, one with a fractured skull.

Chernyk suffered cuts on his face and scrapes on his arms, but was released from a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.


Credits

By ROB GILLIES

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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