What is an 'incel'? Online woman-haters may have inspired Toronto attack

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Toronto's deputy police chief Peter Yuen spoke to media on behalf of and about Constable Ken Lam in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon after police was inundated by requests to speak to the "hero cop" - the police officer who apprehended and arrested the suspect in Monday's deadly van attack in Toronto without firing a single shot.

"Incel" is short for "involuntarily celibate" and in particular refers to online groups of men who feel that they can't enter into sexual relationships. Another classmate, Josh Kirstein, told The New York Times that Minassian "would cower and avoid eye contact when he saw a girl". The blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks online misogyny, noted examples where incels have explicitly discussed or promoted violence and pointed to the forum Incels.me, where many commenters celebrated Monday's van attack with posts like "I really want it to be true that the guy was an incel lmao", and "joyous day". "Chads" are incel-speak for good-looking men, who incels believe can't be one of them. For ir part, Chad and Stacy are used to name disparagingly men and women who have active sexual lives.

Elliott Rodger - In 2014, he killed six people and injured more than a dozen near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus in Isla Vista, Calif. before killing himself.

Although neither Minassian nor Canadian investigators have confirmed that Minassian's incel connection was a motive for the devastating murder spree, there is little doubt that some toxic internet communities will be celebrating. A Facebook post on his page was found saying: "The incel rebellion has already begun".

Attractive men are referred to as "Chads", and attractive women are referred to as "Stacys". I'm the ideal guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman.

Minassian's post spread quickly among the incel community, many of whom rushed to embrace him.

Incel, while it's a group most people aren't familiar with, isn't new.

Another poster wondered whether Minassian might have been acting on his own March call to action for incels to commit mass murder and serial rapes, a post on incels.me which has since been removed.

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"They're young, frustrated white males in their late teens into their early twenties who are having a hard time adjusting to adulthood". Lewis said she has not shed her last tear over the tragedy, but she refuses to let the incident instill fear. "Isis is obviously a terrorist organisation, and women represent half the world", says Sandhu.

Outpouring expressions of condolences and love written in myriad languages were posted at the tragic site.

Rathanasiri described Amarasingha as a kind and generous person who attended regular services and brought cookies to Sunday school students every week. "When millions can be exposed to heinous propaganda, you are setting the table for ultimately hate speech and ultimately hate crimes". It shares some similarities with the better known alt-right movement, with both groups attributing society's ills to social liberalism, women and ethnic minorities.

What does Elliot Rodger have to do with this?

Reddit banned the channel r/incels in November, citing a violation of its "violent content" rules.

How serious are incel movement members?

Rodger, who posted on SlutHate, which was then called PUAHate, was rapidly held up as a hero for the incel community, with the anniversary of the killings marked annually on the Incels subreddit, and people across the community expressing hope that someone else would follow in his footsteps.

Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Minassian defended Roger. What media have concluded that they can belong to the category "rejected by women".

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