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Somali Accused of Stabbing Canadian Policeman Had Been in US Custody for Deportation

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FILE - Edmonton Police investigate at the scene where a man hit pedestrians then flipped the U-Haul truck he was driving, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 1, 2017.

A Somali immigrant accused of stabbing a Canadian policeman and hitting four other people with a truck was at one time in U.S. custody for deportation.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first court appearance Tuesday in Edmonton, three days after the alleged attack. He faces a number of criminal charges including five counts of attempted murder.

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, a Somali immigrant, is shown in this police booking photo provided in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 2, 2017.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, a Somali immigrant, is shown in this police booking photo provided in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 2, 2017.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Sharif was in ICE custody for four months in 2011, pending deportation to Somalia.

He was under a supervised release, but failed to show up for a meeting with immigration authorities the following January.

Instead, Sharif fled to Canada seeking refugee status.

Canadian authorities investigated Sharif for alleged extremism in 2015, but found no evidence of criminal activities.

He allegedly ran down the policeman with his car Saturday outside a football stadium in Edmonton, then stabbed the officer multiple times.

Sharif is accused of later hitting four people with a moving van as he tried to avoid arrest.

The motive for the attack is unclear, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it an act of terrorism.

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