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    Police officers comb a street for evidence after a van struck multiple people along a major intersection in north Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 24, 2018.

    ‘They Want People to Support a Big War’: Media Stokes Fears After Toronto Attack

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    Canadian police on Monday steered clear of suggesting that 25-year-old Alek Minassian, believed to have driven a van into a group of pedestrians, killing 10, is Muslim, or the attack part of a terrorist plot. But that didn’t stop media networks from reporting on his religion and calling for controls on immigrants into the US and Canada.

    Speaking to Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear, Chris Black, an international criminal lawyer who is on the List of Counsel before the International Criminal Court, suggested that such quick branding follows a "very dangerous path."

    "It's an interesting phenomenon taking place, where the role that the Jews played in Nazi Germany is now being played by Muslims and Russians… anything that happens is going to be blamed… on Muslims or Russia," Black told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. "The same sort of racism and xenophobia is developing, which is very dangerous path… there's no evidence whatsoever that [Minassian] is a Muslim in any case."

    "Last night on most of the news networks [they were saying] that it may be a possible terrorist attack, but now they're downplaying that, but still ramping up the fear factor that these things can happen using trucks and vehicles," he added.

    Comparing the US intelligence community's power to surveill residents, Black told Becker that Canada's laws aren't as severe as those of its southern neighbor.

    "Not quite severe as [the Patriot Act], but they did pass after 9/11 similar legislation giving security agencies increased power," he said, adding that those new powers included that ability to "arrest and have secret trials… detain people without charge just based on suspicion that they may be engaged in so-called ‘terrorist activity.'"

    "An increasing number of people get visits from the security or intelligence services… I got one two years ago… they wanted to warn me about things and suggested I'd be safer if I kept a low profile… I can't say it's as bad as it is in the United States," he continued.

    "But it is increasing and there is propaganda here against Russia and Muslims. I've never seen such intense propaganda. The G7 was happening… and they're putting out sorts of communiqués suggesting new sanctions against Russia, increased securities… and this incident in Toronto gives them an opportunity to raise people's fear again about terrorism, generally and security, generally."

    For Black, reports about the Toronto attack in addition to the alleged chemical attacks in Britain last month and Syria earlier this month could throw fuel on the fire of a possible third world war.

    "The danger of a world war is increasing more and more as this develops because you have the whole Skripal incident, the Douma attack in Syria… they just keep pumping out story after story to make people angry and fearful and wanting to take revenge on somebody for something somewhere," he stressed. "And why? Because I think they want people to, sort of, support a big war."

    "There's gotta be a motivation for all these stories to be pumped out so quickly — they want to do something big," Black concluded.

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