Trial hears London attack accused was motivated by white nationalism

By Maan Alhmidi

The trial of a man accused of murdering four members of a Muslim family in Ontario has seen video of him telling police that his attack was motivated by white nationalist beliefs. 

Nathaniel Veltman – who has pleaded not guilty – is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for deliberately hitting five members of the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk in London, Ont., in June 2021.

Video played at Veltman’s trial today shows him telling a London police detective hours after his arrest that he is a white nationalist.

Veltman is seen saying he wants white people to have autonomy over their own countries and that white people “don’t have to give over everything to foreigners.” 

The accused is also seen saying he was not a member of a white nationalist group because that would have made authorities in Canada aware of him and his beliefs.

Federal prosecutors have alleged Veltman’s actions amount to an act of terrorism.

Jurors at the trial were shown video last week of Veltman telling police his attack was politically motivated and “was terrorism.” 

Court also heard Veltman telling police he had hesitated before carrying out his attack but decided to get it “over with,” hoping to inspire other young, white men. 

Salman Afzaal, 46, 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 also seriously hurt but survived.

The trial, which is taking place in Windsor, Ont., is expected to last eight weeks.

Banner image: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dax Melmer

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2023.