What is an incel? The Toronto attacker was part of controversial Reddit involuntary celibacy movement

The Canadian attacker who killed 10 people and wounded 14 others by ploughing them down with a van in Toronto on Monday was apparently part of the misogynistic incel movement.

25-year-old suspect Alek Minassian, a “socially awkward” university graduate, has been linked to the anti-women movement after he praised a terrorist who carried out an attack in tribute to the movement in 2014.

An incel – which is a contraction of involuntarily celibate – is a person who believes that they “can’t have sex despite wanting to,” according to the website Incels.me.


People gather for a moment of silence at a memorial for victims of the mass killing on Yonge St. at Finch Ave. on April 24, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Cole Burston/Getty)

They believe that the odds are stacked against unattractive heterosexual men who wish to have sex, and that their right to sex is being denied to them by women and attractive men.

Attractive men are referred to as “Chads,” and attractive women are referred to as “Stacys”.

Incels blame women for their sexual misfortunes and some even advocate rape.

Minassian has praised the incel movement in the past online, and in a post, showed his support for Elliot Rodgers, who shot six people dead and wounded 13 others in California in 2014 in support of the movement.

Facebook has since taken down the suspected attacker’s profile.

Incel forum contributors on Incels.me have praised Minassian for carrying out the attack.

Around 40,000 people are members of the website.

Police said that Minassian was not previously known to authorities prior to the attack.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident a “senseless attack and a horrific tragedy.”

Toronto resident Dave Spence told the BBC that people would “walk a little differently” when they came through the area “for years to come.”

Minassian was arrested by police on Tuesday after a tense stand-off a few blocks away from the attack.

He has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Although some of the victims are still being identified, the majority of them are said to be women, according to Toronto police.