The man who killed 10 pedestrians in the Toronto van attack last April told police he had ‘accomplished his mission’ and spoke of an uprising of ‘involuntary celibates’ in a disturbing interview just hours after the rampage.
Alek Minassian is charged with 10 counts of murder for driving a rental van into crowds of pedestrians on April 23 last year, killing eight men and two women.
The attack drew attention to an online world of sexual loneliness, rage and violent misogyny after the suspect used the extremist language of so-called ‘incels’.
In the police interview, which was carried out hours after the attack but only made public today, Minassian told a detective he had been in contact with California killer Elliot Rodger who had also raged at women for rejecting him.
‘I know of several other guys over the internet who feel the same way,’ Minassian said, adding they are ‘too cowardly to act on their anger.’
Describing the attack he said he had ‘just floored the pedal’ and said: ‘This is the day of retribution.’
Alek Minassian, top, is seen during a police interview just hours after the Toronto van rampage last year, telling a detective about his ‘incel’ idelogy
Minassian (pictured) is charged with 10 counts of murder for driving a rental van into crowds of pedestrians on April 23 last year, killing eight men and two women
The world of ‘incels’ linked to the Toronto van attack
Moments before the Toronto attack, Alek Minassian posted a Facebook message proclaiming that ‘The Incel Rebellion has already begun!’.
The world of self-described ‘incels’, where sexual frustrations boil over into talk of violent revenge against women, has become a virtual home for isolated men such as Minassian.
The term was initially coined in the 1990s by a Canadian woman aiming to launch a supportive exchange about sexual solitude.
But it has since mutated into a buzzword for men who are angry at their rejection by women and talk of violent payback.
Minassian said he discussed his sexual frustrations on the website 4chan, which has become notorious as a place for extremists to post their views.
The incel community is ‘one of the most violent areas of the internet,’ experts have said.
Reddit shut down one popular incel forum last year, after announcing a ban on content that calls for violence or physical harm.
Participants ‘see feminism, and women in general, as a reason their lives are so difficult, another expert said.
When asked by the detective how he felt about the deaths of 10 people,’ he said: ‘I feel like I accomplished my mission.’
Asked if he would apologize, he said: ‘I honestly don’t know.’
Minassian, who said he never had a girlfriend and was a virgin, acknowledged he used the van as a weapon and said he wanted to inspire more attacks.
In the police interview he described himself as an ‘angry incel’ who was ‘unable to lose his virginity’.
He said he had discussed his sexual frustrations on the website 4chan, which has become notorious as a place for extremists to post their views.
The incel movement promotes the misogynistic idea that men are entitled to have sex with women and has been linked to attacks in California and Florida as well as the rampage in Toronto.
In the interview Minassian, whose trial is due next February, ranted about an ‘uprising’ which would ‘force’ women to have sex with people like him.
He also used the terms ‘Chad’ and ‘Stacy’, commonly used on misogynistic internet forums as dismissive slang for men and women with more active sex lives.
Minassian told police he planned the attack for a month, saying he wanted a van that wasn’t too big, one he could maneuver.
A court sketch from April 2018 shows Minassian, second left, in court in Toronto. The attack drew attention to an online world of sexual loneliness, rage and violent misogyny
The Toronto van attack that killed 10 people
Ten people died in a seven-minute rampage in Toronto last year after Minassian mounted a curb and drove his van into oncoming traffic, police said.
The white rented van sped along a busy Yonge Street sidewalk for around half a mile on April 23 last year.
Minassian was arrested after abandoning the van on a sidewalk.
In the police interview he said he had only stopped because someone’s drink had been splashed on his windshield.
A total of 26 people were struck by the van, of whom 10 were killed, eight men and two women.
They were: Ji Hun Kim, 22; Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, 85; Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45; Andrea Bradden, 33; Geraldine Brady, 83; So He Chung, 22; Anne Marie D’Amico, 30; Mary Elizabeth Forsyth, 94; Dorothy Sewell, 80 and Chul Min Kang, 45.
‘The van was the perfect medium size to use as my weapon,’ he said.
‘I’m thinking that this is it, this is the day of retribution,’ he said ‘I was driving down Yonge because I knew it would be a busy area and then as soon as I saw the pedestrians, I just decided to go for it.’
Describing how he ‘just floored the pedal’, he said he would have kept going but something obscured his view.
‘The only reason I stop my attack was because someone’s drink got splashed on my windshield and I was worried that I would crash,’ he said.
‘I wanted to do more but I’ve kind of been foiled by a lack of visibility.’
He said he had pointed a wallet at a cop, hoping it would be confused for a gun and that he would be shot by the police.
Minassian said he was in contact with Elliot Rodger, a community college student who killed six people and wounded 13 in shooting and stabbing attacks in 2014 near the University of California, Santa Barbara, before apparently shooting himself to death.
Rodger had railed in a manifesto and online videos about women who shunned him and called for an incel ‘overthrow’ of what he saw as feminist domination.
Describing the earlier attack, Minassian he spoke in chillingly clinical terms about ‘converting the life status of certain individuals to death status’.
Police officers at the scene in Toronto last April after a van mounted a sidewalk and crashed into a crowd of pedestrians
Minassian said he ‘radicalized’ around the time of the Rodger attack.
‘I felt it was time to take action and not just sit on the sidelines and just fester in my own sadness,’ he said.
He said he had also been in contact with Chris Harper-Mercer, who shot nine people in Oregon in 2015 before killing himself in a rampage that was also linked to incel ideology.
Minassian said in 2013 he went to a Halloween party and was laughed at by women with whom he tried to socialize. He said he was upset the women gave affection to bigger men.
‘I was angry that they would give their love and affection to obnoxious brutes,’ he said.
Minassian said he wished he had had an intimate relationship but only once asked a girl out in 2012.
‘I did ask a girl out once, but she rejected me,’ he said. ‘I felt crushed at that point.’
His lawyer, Boris Bytensky, declined to comment Thursday ahead of the tape’s release.
Justice Anne Molloy, who will oversee the trial next year, said in August the police statement will be one of the prosecution’s most important pieces of evidence at trial. Malloy said Minassian’s state of mind will be relevant.
Minassian faces 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. He has yet to enter a plea.