ISIS touts Toronto shooting as top attack in propaganda video

ISIL, also known as ISIS, has produced a propaganda video in which it claims responsibility for the deadly shooting on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue on July 22.

The clip, titled “Harvest of the Lone Lions” was released by pro-Islamic State media on Sept. 16

It features a montage of news footage from what it claims were its most successful western terror attacks in 2018 and audio from a speech by ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in which he praises attackers in the West.

“We congratulate the lions in the countries of the crusaders, in Canada, Europe and other countries,” he says, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

It concludes with an animated infographic showing the number of casualties reported as the result of attacks in Nizhny Novgorod in Russia on May 5; Lieges, Belgium on May 29; Toronto on July 22 and Trappes, France, on Aug. 24.

The infographic presents the Toronto attack as its most successful of the year, although its claim that there were 11 casualties is false. Two victims died, and 13 were injured. The gunman also died from a self inflicted gunshot.

The video assigns the attack a success rate of 83.2 per cent, but does not explain how that number was calculated.

A video still from ‘Harvest of the Lone Lions,’ courtesy of MEMRI.
A video still from ‘Harvest of the Lone Lions,’ courtesy of MEMRI.

ISIL initially claimed responsibility for the Danforth shooting in the days after it happened, and the video calls the shooting its most successful foreign operation of the year, but police say there is no evidence linking gunman Faisal Hussain and ISIL.

While it has made some credible claims of connections with terrorist attacks in the West, the Islamic state has assumed responsibility for several attacks in the past two years without any evidence to support the claims.

It said it was responsible for the devastating shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured 851 in October 2017, but there is no evidence that shooter Stephen Craig Paddock had voiced any support for jihadi causes.

ISIL also claimed responsibility for the evacuation of a UK-bound flight from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in September 2017. The Islamic state said it had planted bombs on the plane, although officials called the incident a “false alarm.” ISIL provided no evidence to support that claim either.