Woman facing terror charges said she wanted to 'hurt and scare' people, jury hears
A woman facing terror charges in connection with an alleged attack inside a Scarborough Canadian Tire back in 2017 told investigators that she wanted to “hurt and scare” people in the name of ISIS but was not attempting to kill anyone, according to a statement of facts introduced during her trial on Wednesday.
A lawyer for the Crown read the six-page document into the record on Wednesday and then asked Rehab Dughmosh whether it was true. She noted that it was.
The statement of facts says that Dughmosh started to make dozens of homemade weapons in the spring of 2017 while contemplating an attack in Toronto.
The statement says that on June 3, 2017 Dughmosh decided it was time to use the weapons and packed them into several bags while also concealing a crossbow and a butcher knife beneath her clothing. Dughmosh left her apartment carrying the bags at around 4 p.m. but “unexpectedly encountered” her husband, who she was separated from but continued to live with, in the lobby. Her husband asked what was in the bags and then “confiscated” them after looking inside but he was not aware of the additional weapons hidden underneath Dughmosh’s clothing, the statement of facts said.
At 4:40 p.m. Dughmosh left the building and walked directly to a Canadian Tire store inside the Cedarbrae Mall.
The statement of facts says that she first went to the sporting goods section and located a set of arrows in a locked display case, but was told by an employee that store policy prevented him from handing them over and that he would have to take them directly to the cash.
Following that interaction, the document explains, Dughmosh left the sporting goods section and began placing multiple tools, including a hammer, heavy wrenches and pliers, into a shopping basket. She then returned to the sporting goods section and grabbed a golf club by the head.
At that point, Dughmosh removed a black and white ISIS banner from beneath her clothing and tied a black bandana bearing the ISIS symbol around her head. According to the statement of facts, she proceeded to grasp the golf club in her right hand and “charged towards” three employees who were assisting some customers in the paint section, swinging the golf club and repeatedly shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and “This is for ISIS.”
The statement says one of the employees managed to grab Dughmosh’s arm while another wrestled the golf club out of her hand. She then took out the butcher knife hidden underneath her clothing and began swinging it, the statement of facts says, but the employees managed to pin her to the ground and pry the weapon from her hand.
Nobody was seriously injured in the attack. Dughmosh did allegedly bite one of the employees but did not break the skin.
According to the statement of facts, a cell phone video captured a conversation with Dughmosh, which shed further light on her motives.
In the video, one of the employees reportedly asks “why are you in here trying to stab people?” to which she replied “when you kill us, we will kill you.” According to the statement, Dughmosh can then be heard explaining that she previously attempted to leave Canada to join ISIS but was turned back at the Turkish border with Syria.
“You’re killing ISIS, I’m from ISIS, ISIS is Muslims, stop killing Muslims,” the statement of facts quotes Dughmosh as saying.
Dughmosh told investigators she ‘would like to be a martyr’
Dughmosh was previously questioned by members of the RCMP after her brother alerted authorities to her intention to join ISIS during an April 2016 trip overseas, the statement of facts said.
That investigation, however, was eventually put aside and no charges were laid.
According to the statement of facts, Dughmosh told investigators following the Canadian Tire attack that she had supported ISIS since 2014 but had no formal contact with the group.
She said that she was “disappointed that she failed to hurt anyone in her attack” but “did not regret doing what she did.”
She also reportedly said that she wanted news of her attack to be published in the media as “she believed ISIS would be happy with what she had done.”
“She said that at some point, God willing, she would like to be a martyr,” the statement of facts read.
Dughmosh, acting as her own lawyer, refused to enter a plea during today’s proceedings and did not participate.
A lawyer for the Crown read the statement of facts into the record but did not call any witnesses or table any additional evidence.
The jury in the case is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow.