Mohammed Assadi, an Iranian from Ottawa, was apprehended near Toronto after reportedly being captured on video inciting hatred and expressing antisemitic views.
Ottawa police have filed charges against him for violating several bail conditions. Authorities are actively working to keep Assadi in custody while Toronto's hate crime unit conducts an investigation into the allegations.
Assadi made a virtual appearance in an Ottawa courtroom on Sunday, and the scheduling of his bail hearing is pending. In addition to the recent charges, he faces outstanding legal issues, including charges related to assault and breaking and entering, which are yet to be adjudicated.
Assadi is well known in the Iranian community after harassing members while wearing an IRGC Quds Force hat.
He has also harassed journalists working for the VOA while they were filing reports on Iran.
The incident comes at a time of heightened concern among Canadian police services over a surge in hate-motivated crimes, notably linked to the conflict between Israel and Hamas since October 7. The world has seen a global surge in antisemitism since Iran-backed Hamas invaded Israel when 1,200 mostly civilians were murdered and another 240 hostages taken to Gaza.
Israel's relentless retaliation has led to a humanitarian crisis in the coastal enclave as it vows to rid Gaza of the group proscribed by countries including Canada, the UK and US.
Earlier this month, Ottawa police reported several incidents, including graffiti, vandalism, hate mail, and threats targeting both the Jewish and Muslim communities. Responding to a similar increase in hate crime reports, Toronto police have expanded the size of their hate crime unit.