Hamilton police have laid more charges on the son of a Syrian Toronto-area restaurant owner in relation to an Antifa protest outside of a Maxime Bernier event held on September 29 during the federal election.
After police reviewed more footage and new witnesses came forward, Alaa Al Soufi faces additional charges of theft under $5,000, intimidation, disguise with intent and assault.
Al Soufi was already arrested in November on two counts of intimidation, causing a disturbance and two counts of disguise with intent. Police also arrested another suspect, 27-year-old Michael Lickes, for assault and intimidation.
Videos from the violent Antifa protest depict Soufi and several others wearing masks and blocking the way of an elderly woman with a walker. The protestors are shown screaming at the 81-year old Dorothy Marston and calling her a Nazi as she is trying to enter the venue.
“A black-masked and rage-filled youth decided to scream as loudly as possible in her ear that she was a Nazi,” said the woman’s son in an op/ed about the incident.
“Once inside, my mother complained of having trouble hearing in that ear which was particularly cruel since we were attending an event that required us to listen to ideas,” said Marston’s son.
The Soufi family temporarily closed their restaurant claiming that it was the result of the public backlash in response to Al Soufi’s participation in the protest. The restaurant reopened several days later and has since received the financial support of Paramount Fine Foods CEO Mohamad Fakih.
They were also able to serve their food on the Liberal campaign bus while the election was ongoing.
As pointed out by True North founder Candice Malcolm, the Soufis were likely one of the 25,000 Syrian refugees who moved to Canada in 2015. Posts from Al Soufi’s social media accounts show that he was in Turkey before arriving in Canada and arrived in December 2015.
Soufi also followed a number of extremist and far-left accounts and events on Facebook, including Antifa Toronto, No One Is Illegal, the anti-Semitic Al Quds Day and the Toronto BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) group, among others.