Ayanle Hassan Ali walked into a Canadian military centre and began to strike a uniformed officer with a kitchen knife. As the officer tried to get up, his arm was cut again. Until Ali was finally subdued, two other soldiers were slashed at the scene.

Ever since this in 2016 attack, Ali has been confined to the Hamilton hospital where he is being treated for mental illness. He had not been found criminally responsible for the attack, which he claimed was ordered by the divine. 

Now, in a decision this Monday by an Appeal Court, Ali will be permitted to attend the college across the hospital from where he is being held, provided he does not contact military personnel. 

The Appeal Court made their decision following successive decisions by the Ontario Review Board to give Ali greater freedom around Hamilton hospital. At first, Ali was allowed to travel hospital grounds with staff, and then with a confirmed companion. Finally, he was allowed to travel unsupervised.

“The limited extension of indirectly supervised access only to the local college shows that the board was extending only a very limited privilege, both geographically and in terms of time away, that reflected its concern for public safety but balanced with the need to facilitate Mr. Ali’s reintegration into society,” said the court.

However, the Crown protested what they viewed as the placement of Ali’s needs over society’s general safety. According to Global News, the prosecution argued unsupervised access across the hospital was not the same as integration into a scholastic environment. 

The conditions of Ali’s attendance of Mohawk College will be discussed at another review board meeting Wednesday.

In the meantime, Ali’s case is also being reviewed by prosecutors’ attempting to find him criminally responsible on terror charges, despite the fact that he acted alone.