Crime | May 20, 2020 11:27 am

Fatal Attack at Erotic Spa Linked to Incel Terrorism

The terrorism charge may reflect a shift in the legal response to incel violence

incel terrorism
Incel violence may now be considered a form of terrorism.
Getty Images

Canada just got its first incel terrorism charge after a February attack in an erotic massage parlor has been linked to incel ideology.

The case involving the February 24 attack, which led to the death by stabbing of one woman and injured another, was updated in court Tuesday to “murder — terrorist activity,” Global News reported.

The suspect, who remains unnamed because he is a minor, was already facing first-degree and attempted murder charges. The terrorism charges were added after police uncovered evidence linking the crime to the misogynist incel movement. Incels, which stands for “involuntary celibate,” are a community of men who blame their sexual inactivity on women and seek to enforce an idealized paternalistic society. Incel violence has risen in recent years, with nearly 50 deaths in Canada and the United States linked to the movement.

“What begins as a personal grievance due to perceived rejection by women may morph into allegiance to, and attempts to further, an incel rebellion,” a Texas Department of Public Safety report said in January. “The result has thrust the incel movement into the realm of domestic terrorism.”

According to Global News, the incel terrorism charge in Canada marks the first time a terrorism charge has been made in an incel-related incident. While some dispute the idea that incel violence qualifies as terrorism, Professor Colin Clarke, a senior research fellow at the Soufan Centre, called the charge “a move in the right direction.”

“Some dispute that incel attacks qualify as terrorism because there is no realistic policy change that the movement is advocating, since their frustrations are merely a result of failed interpersonal relationships,” Clarke wrote with co-author Lilianna Turner in Insights.

“However, they do justify violence to assuage their grievances, their violence is ideological in nature, and they have attacked civilians in order to have a psychological impact on society, all classic hallmarks of terrorism.”

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