The young Canadian accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in June 2021 is a white supremacist who acted deliberately and premeditated, a prosecutor said on Monday during the first day of his trial.

Nathaniel Veltman is accused of deliberately crashing the car he was driving into five members of the Afzal family in London, about 200 kilometers southwest of Toronto, killing two parents, their 15-year-old daughter and grandmother. Only the couple’s young son, aged nine, who was seriously injured, survived.

Mr. Veldman, 20 when he committed the crime, planned the attack for three months after reading and writing a “white nationalist” manifesto, federal prosecutor Sarah Syke said Monday.

“He fell on them with his car” with the “gas at full throttle”, emphasized the prosecutor.

After his arrest, a little later, in a shopping center, Nathaniel Veltman told the police, according to her: “I hit them (…) I did it on purpose.”

The accused, with a clean criminal record and without any known connection to any extremist organization, has testified that it was a political gesture, that he wanted to send a “strong message” against immigration, the prosecutor’s office pointed out.

When his trial began on September 5, he pleaded not guilty.

Inside his car, knives and an air pellet gun were found and confiscated.

The tragedy, which the prosecutor described as a “terrorist act”, was the deadliest attack on Muslims in Canada since a gunman attacked an Islamic mosque in Quebec in 2017 (six dead). The perpetrator of that attack, a white racist Canadian, had not been charged with terrorism.

Referring to the 2021 attack, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced it as a “terrorist act motivated by hate,” promising to step up the fight against extremist organizations.