The political leanings of suspected mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette - Macleans.ca
 

The political leanings of suspected mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

Bissonnette’s Facebook page suggested he was a fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, a far-right leader in France and the separatist Parti Quebecois


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

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

A university student accused of carrying out the horrific massacre on a mosque in Quebec City was a fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, a far right leader in France and the separatist Parti Quebecois as well as a bird and chess enthusiast, according to what appeared to be his Facebook account.

A handcuffed Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, made a brief court appearance Monday at which he was arraigned on six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder. Wearing a white jumpsuit, the tired-looking accused stared at his feet and fidgeted during the hearing.

Bissonnette — the grandson of a decorated Second World War veteran, according to the social media profile in his name — was then remanded in custody until his next appearance Feb. 21.

RELATED: The scene in Quebec City a night after a deadly mosque attack

Police offered no information on what they believe motivated Sunday’s shooting, which Prime Minister Trudeau has denounced as a terrorist act.

“The charges that have been laid are those that were disclosed by the evidence so far,” said Michel Fortin, with the Quebec prosecutor’s office. “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

The Facebook profile in Bissonnette’s name indicates that he “liked” Trump, French politician Marine Le Pen, the separatist Parti Quebecois and the Israeli armed forces. Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front in France who has won accolades from white supremacists, is known for her anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant ideology.

Hema-Quebec — which manages the blood supply in Quebec — said Monday that Bissonette is an employee of the agency.

It said in a statement that as an organization whose “primary mission is devoted to the gift of life,” the arrest of Bissonette as a suspect in the mosque shooting has sent a “shock wave” through the organization.

MORE: Maclean’s Explains: A history of Canadian massacres

Hema-Quebec also said it would not comment further due to ongoing police investigation.

The U.S.-based Site Intelligence Group called it “unlikely” that Bissonnette had any Jihadi ties in light of the postings.

According to police and witnesses, a man entered the mosque and opened fire without warning during evening prayers, sowing death, injury and panic. Six worshippers were killed and 19 wounded — all men. Of the five victims who remained in hospital Monday, two were in critical condition, authorities said.

The horrific act prompted several vigils across the country and expressions of sympathy from around the world.

Bissonnette, who according to the Facebook account was from Cap-Rouge, Que., was enrolled in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Universite Laval said in a statement. He has now been banned from all studies or research activities until the court process is over, the school said. The student directory lists him as pursuing an undergraduate degree in political science.

RELATED: A moment of silence and solidarity in the House of Commons

One Facebook picture showed a boy dressed as an army cadet. Canadian Cadet Organizations said in a statement that Bissonnette was in the cadet program in the Quebec City area between 2002 and 2004. The national program focuses on developing leadership and citizenship skills as well as physical fitness. Cadets are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces and do not receive military training, the organization said.

Among groups to which he belonged — according to the Facebook profile, which has since been taken down — was the Laval chess club and a birding group. The account also had numerous selfies of the neatly groomed young man, who appeared to be a blues fan.

Another “like” was for the Parti Quebecois association in Louis-Hebert, a riding in Quebec’s national capital region currently held by a Liberal member, and another for H.G. Wells, author of the 1890s science-fiction novel “War of the Worlds.”

Francois Deschamps, who runs a French-language web group called Bienvenue au refugies — Welcome Refugees — said Bissonnette was always making hateful comments.

“It’s with pain and anger that we learn the identity of terrorist Alexandre Bissonnette, unfortunately known to many activists in Quebec for taking nationalist, pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist positions at Laval University and on social media,” Deschamps wrote on the page of the group.

However, Bissonnette’s online profile offered few clues to the mass shooting he is accused of carrying out.

His favourite citation, according to the Facebook page, was taken from the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato:

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.”


 

The political leanings of suspected mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

  1. Will this event form part of the history in the rise of radical Trumpism terrorists? It would be foolish to attribute the acts of a few to those of an entire religion or belief and then ban all Trump supporters from entering Canada.

  2. That kind of person often posts on here.

    Tremendous ignorance and enormous hate.

  3. Get the Fainting Lounge ready he “Clicked Like” on Trump and the next President of France Le Pen Oh the Horror..

  4. I can see how this is noteworthy, but a whole article to ram the point down? Did you write a whole article about how Omar Mateen, the jihadi who murdered 49 innocent people in Orlando, was a registered Democrat? And how come this article doesn’t mention how he like Jack Layton, does that go against the narrative?

    After every terrorist attack committed by a Muslim extremists – and there are so many of them – certain media outlets are so quick to remind us that ideology has nothing to do with the crime. Those same outlets have done a 180 in the last couple of days.

  5. Lotta right-wingers trying to hide in the closet with Harp I see.

    • My my — ever the narcissist eh Emily?

      While I suspect most of us were out today, taking up JT’s suggestion — you know spending more time with loved ones (I for one spent the day skiing with my family) — here you are criticizing away.

      Many, many msm’s are reporting of that Bissonnette also frequented alt-left New Atheism websites run by Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. I say alt-left as the terminology/idea was used by far left leaning Sam Harris circa 2006. The alt-left websites in question were reported by media outlets like Time Magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail — just to name a few. This means that Bissonnette was all over the political map. The alt-right narrative of course is being well played in the media, while the alt-left narrative has taken a back seat. Funny how media bias works eh?

      As for the closet — have you not read RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson’s report on what took place on Parliament Hill? How that Stephen Harper followed policy and procedure by taking shelter in said closet? How that the security detail found Mr. Harper exactly where they expected to find him when they were sent in to extract him? This same closet has been used by Justin Trudeau too. It’s part of the routine drills on Parliament Hill — just like the fire drills practices in schools and workplaces. Let’s hope that Justin never has to use that closet for real. Based on his dismal attendance record, chances are he won’t be on Parliament Hill should another attack ever transpire. BTW — since the attack, the PM’s security detail never leaves his/her side. You can read it all by yourself in Paulson’s report.

      • LOL there is no alt-left, but your ‘alternative facts’ are interesting.

        Stop making excuses Chip….just accept reality.

        • So based on your reply, which does nothing to address the story nor my comments, there is a place called alt-Emily?

          Oh there is an alt-left. It’s been well disseminated by the likes of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and others of that ilk. You cannot deny facts, books, people, etc. Alt-left, New Atheism, Radical Atheism, Militant Atheism. Call it what you want – it is your reality.

          • LOL Now you’ve confused politics and religion.

            Sorry, nonsense.

        • “LOL there is no alt-left”

          I am sorry, but that is incorrect. Alt-left is slang for what has been termed the regressive left. Individuals who subscribe to the regressive left value racial and gender identity over all other things. You will hear terminology such as the importance of intersectionality with this group (as well as safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings, etc). This way of thinking is well documented. Please don’t confuse ‘alternative facts’ with factual and documented political ideology. For an introduction, Dave Rubin on youtube does a good explanation of this political way of thinking. You could also listen to dozens of other commentators on the mattter. You can even visit college campuses and take courses on the subject itself (teaching the ideology not necessarily analysing it).

          • LOL Dicking around with the language changes nothing.

  6. Now, if there was any real journalism being committed, the author of this article would update this story or link the mob violence last night in Berkeley, that caused millions of dollars in damage, to our own NDP. He would do so because the violence that is being propagated by multiple left-wing organizations in Canada and the USA is more relevant to this particular discussion that Bissonnette’s supposed admiration of Donald Trump.
    Try being a journalist, and maybe your audience will quit evaporating.

  7. The shooter is a Christian terrorist……like I said in the first place.

    • Wrong again Emily! He was a New Atheist! He was studying anthropology. Did you get all your news from one source? He was not a Believer.

      For more info on the alt-left just look at what happened on the Berkeley campus this week. Alt-left media put out the call via twitter and other social media. The alt-left responded with violence.

      • Drinking again, eh?

        Sorry, not interested.

        Dismissed.