Alleged terrorist Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, supports far-right movements
THE MAN CHARGED WITH MASSACRING six people and five further counts of attempted murder at a Quebec mosque in Canada is a supporter of far-right movements and the politics of new US President Donald Trump, according to classmates and activists who knew him.
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, is charged with the shooting that occurred on Sunday 29 January - in a terrorist attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.
The attack follows concern of the threat of far-right extremism of the likes prominent in the killing of Jo Cox MP, the Anders Breivik attack in Norway, or the most recent shooting of an anti-fascist activist in Seattle.
Classmates and activists who knew Bissonnette said he was an active supporter of far-right movements, who have targeted Muslim communities.
Classmate Jean-Michel Allard Prus told Le Journal de Quebec that he had “right-wing political ideas, pro-Israel, anti-immigration. I had many debates with him about Trump,” he said. “He was obviously pro-Trump.”
Another colleague, Éric Debroise, told the paper: “He loved Trump a lot and seemed to be permanently set against the left.” He has given evidence to the police that Bissonnette is a “far right and an ultra nationalist white supremacist”.
Local refugee support group Bienvenu aux réfugiés added that it was familiar with Bissonnette as someone opposed to people from other countries and supportive of far-right movements.
In a Facebook post, the group said he was “unfortunately known by several activists in Québec City for his viewpoints that were pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist, as expressed in social media and at the Université Laval”.
The massacre at the mosque targeted Quebec’s tight-knit Muslim community at a time of prayer.
There were 25 victims: six who were killed, and 19 injuries - of which five remain in a critical condition.
Mohamed Labidi, a spokesman for the Quebec City Islamic cultural center, said: “We have a sadness we cannot express.”
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau condemned the attack and expressed unity with Canada’s Muslim community.
“Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack. This was a group of innocents targeted for practising their faith,” he said. “To the more than 1 million Canadians who profess the Muslim faith, I want to say directly, we are with you 36 million hearts are breaking with yours.”
“We will grieve with you, we will defend you, we will love you, and we will stand with you,” he said.
Picture courtesy of Province of British Columbia
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