Case of man who ran down Muslim family also establishes group ties not needed for terrorism to occur. The case of an Ontario man who carried out a deadly attack on a Muslim family was the first to recognize terrorism on grounds of white supremacist ideology and further emphasized that terrorism isn’t limited to those who belong to specific groups, experts and observers said after the landmark trial ended this week. Nathaniel Veltman was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for each of four counts of first-degree murder in the June 2021 attack that killed four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ont. Veltman, 23, was also sentenced to life in prison for the attempted murder of a boy who survived. All five sentences are to be served concurrently. In handing down the sentencing decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance said Thursday it was an “inescapable conclusion” that Veltman committed a terrorist act in hitting the Afzaal family with his truck. She noted he targeted them because they were Muslim, and expressed white nationalist beliefs in a manifesto and in his statements to police. “Terrorism is not exclusive to any group or ideology,” she said. “Right-wing extremism is as potentially destructive of the social order as any other belief system promoting hate and violence.” Forty-six-year-old Salman Afzaal; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal were killed in the attack. The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived. The case was the first time Canada’s terrorism laws were put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial. It also “marks the first time in Canadian history that a case involving white nationalism has met the threshold of terrorism,” Amira Elghawaby, Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia, said after the ruling. “This decision will have profound reverberations across Canada,” Elghawaby said.

via theprogress: Courts tie white supremacy to terrorism for first time in Veltman case