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The RCMP said Thursday they are investigating whether a triple stabbing at a restaurant north of Quebec City in December was linked to terrorism.

Members of the Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams, who investigate terrorism cases, will carry out the probe, Sergeant Charles Poirier said in an e-mail.

La Presse on Thursday was first to report on the terrorism investigation into the Dec. 20 attack at restaurant La Belle et La Boeuf in Saguenay’s Chicoutimi borough, about 180 kilometres north of Quebec City.

Restaurant employee Ahmed May, 30, was arrested after three of his colleagues were injured in the knife attack.

The Saguenay police received several calls from witnesses of the attack at about 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 20. Two minutes later, a photo of a man pointing his index finger upward was published on the Facebook profile of someone named Ahmed May, who is identified on the profile as an employee of the restaurant La Belle et La Buf.

The photo appears to be taken behind the bar of the restaurant; the words “Free Palestine” accompany the photo.

The day before the triple stabbing, posts repeatedly praising Hamas were published on the profile. Hamas, which carried out an attack against Israel on Oct. 7 during which it killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 hostages, is listed by Canada as a “terrorist entity.”

Mr. May faces numerous charges including three counts of attempted murder, and aggravated assault against two peace officers.

The accused is due back in court on Friday, when more evidence should be disclosed, Mr. May’s lawyer, Nicolas Gagnon, said in an interview.

“These are documents, witness statements, camera recordings which we knew existed from the start, it’s just that it takes a certain time to recover them,” he said.

Mr. Gagnon said his client “is perfectly lucid regarding the events that happened,” adding that Mr. May is “aware of the seriousness of the accusations brought against him.”

Mr. Gagnon, a legal aid attorney, says the accused was involved in an altercation with work colleagues. And while the lawyer declined to divulge any details, he said the event occurred because of a deteriorating work climate over several months.

The restaurant reopened on Jan. 4 after a two-week closure. Employees were provided support by the Crime Victim Assistance Centre.

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