Who is the Terorist Behind The Muslim Centre of Quebec Shooting Attack?

Alexandre Bissonnette is escorted to a van after appearing in court for the deadly shooting at a mosque, January 30, 2017 in Quebec City (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)

Quebec City, 3 Jumadil Awwal 1438/31 January 2017 (MINA) – Canadian as well as people in several countries mourn in the wake of a shooting at a Quebec mosque, questions remain surrounding the motivations of the 27-year-old terror suspect, described as an introvert by some and a far-right fanatic by others.

Alexandre Bissonnette, the sole suspect in Sunday’s attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique Québec, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

According to The Spec reports, Bissonnette lived on rue du Tracel in the suburban neighbourhood of Cap-Rouge, a 15-minute drive from the mosque where Sunday’s shooting occurred.

On Monday evening, the Université Laval confirmed that Bissonnette studied in the faculty of social sciences. The school is offering psychological support to students and faculty affected by the shooting.

While some details about Bissonnette have trickled out from schoolmates and acquaintances, little is known about the man’s life outside online likes and alleged comments.

Bissonnette participated in both the Sainte-Foy and Université Laval chess clubs with his twin brother, said professor Jean Sevigny, who knew both Bissonnette and his brother through the club.

“He gave the impression of being a very good person,” said Sevigny, who last remembered seeing him in the fall of 2015.

Others who communicated with Bissonnette online said they had a drastically different impression of him.

A statement posted on a Facebook page welcoming refugees to Quebec City said that Bissonnette was known to several activists for his “pro-La Pen and anti-feminist positions at Université Laval and on social media.”

François Deschamps, the person behind the welcome refugees page, told La Presse he immediately recognized Bissonnette as an online troll. He said he did not recall particular attacks that targeted the Muslim community.

Bissonnette’s Facebook profile was deleted at some point on Monday, and combing through an archived screenshot showed he “liked” a wide range of pages that did not fall under a specific ideology. Among the pages he “liked” were those of U.S. President Donald Trump, far-right French politician Marine Le Pen, the federal NDP and former NDP leader Jack Layton.

He also “liked” several different video games, chess clubs, musicians and organizations at Laval University.

Jean-Michel Allard Prus, a classmate at Université Laval, said his relationship with Bissonnette was limited to school and debating politics online.

Allard Prus saw Bissonnette in passing three weeks ago, but didn’t think much of it.

“At that time, he didn’t seem like a violent person. Not at all,” he said.

“He was timid, (an) introvert. Awkward a bit.”

Another archived Facebook page shows several photos of Bissonnette at what appeared to be family gatherings. One photo shows him taking a selfie with the caption “driving to my camping ground!” He posted a video of Torngat Mountains National Park in Newfoundland in November with the caption, “I will visit this place one day!”

Rosalie Bussieres, a 23-year-old neighbour who lived across the street from Bissonnette, said her older brother went to school with him at the Collège Les Compagnons de Cartier.

She said she was blown away by the mosque shooting. She described Bissonnette as “very solitary” and “very antisocial.”(T/RE1/P2)


Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)