The disturbing meaning behind the Toronto van killer's last Facebook post.


He was pleading with police officers to shoot him, this man who is suspected of ploughing a van into crowds of pedestrians in Canada on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring dozens of others.

“Kill me,” Alek Minassian can be heard saying to the police officer in a video obtained by CBC News.

The officer replies: “No, get down.”

When the suspect warns, “I have a gun in my pocket,” the officer responds: “I don’t care. Get down.”

What drove this man, a 25-year-old who was once in the military and whose friends thought was harmless, to kill those innocent people walking on the sidewalk of a busy Toronto street?

Those targeted were predominantly women, the BBC reports. But the driver wasn’t discriminatory in age, and the victims range from their 20s to their 80s.

We don’t know the darkness within Minassian, driving him to such extreme violence and desperation for his own life to be over, too.

But there’s one clue as to what was running through his mind as he accelerated that white van through the terrified masses: It appears it was terrorism stemming from sexual frustration.

Minutes before the attack, The Independent reports, Minassian posted to his Facebook page a cryptic message applauding the “gentleman” Elliot Rodger – a sexually frustrated man who killed six and wounded 14 in California in 2014, Vox reports – and pledging his allegiance to the “Incel Rebellion”.

The post, which has been verified by Facebook and published to the BBC, reads:


“The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

Toronto Mayor John Tory attends a vigil for the victims. Image via Getty.

The term "incel" refers to an ideology created by an online community of men - who were predominately on Reddit, but the thread has since been taken down - and revolves around their inability to convince women to have sex with them.

It stands for "involuntarily celibate" and - in this hateful, fantasy world - women are always to blame for the unsated sexual urges of the men involved.

The implications make you shudder. It's misogynistic and dangerous. The end goal for these men, Vox reports, is to turn the current 'status quo' upside-down through violence, rape, and taking what they see as rightfully 'theirs'.


The other words in Minassian's Facebook post, "Chads and Stacys", refer to attractive men and women who are perceived as out of reach for incels. His wish was - likely still is - to "overthrow" them.

Do you have terrorism fatigue? Post continues below.

Minassian wasn't killed. The police officer involved has been applauded for his composure in the face of such radical danger. He subdued Minassian without harm in an arrest that's been praised as a welcome example of police restraint in the midst of chaos.

Now, as Minassian sits in his jail cell awaiting trial and facing 10 charges of first-degree murder, we still cannot understand why he, at only 25, planned and executed such an attack with a white rental van and a lunchtime crowd.

We can guess that he was frustrated sexually, and dangerously hateful towards women - he told us as much. But we should look to his Facebook post as a warning: How many others identify as 'incels' and what does that do to their perception of the world?

Bigger than this...

How many other groups of extremists - racial extremist, religious extremists, sexual extremists - are there hidden within the nurturing folds of the internet?

Groups that will only be discovered too late, after people have died in the name of an ideology no one, really, has heard of until we're wondering why.