Suspected gunman behind Quebec mosque attack named

Alexandre Bissonnette [Source: Facebook]

The suspected gunman responsible for yesterday night’s Quebec mosque shooting has been named, whilst another man who was initially arrested has been released by police as a key witness.

The alleged gunman behind the Quebec mosque terrorist attack which killed six people has been identified as police released the other man they arrested.

Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian, has been named as the pair arrested by Canadian police following the shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre in the Sainte-Foy area yesterday night.

Mohamed el Khadir, of Moroccan origin, was initially arrested but is now said to be considered a key witness, TVA reported.

Khadir was arrested near the mosque while Bissonnette was tracked down about 15 miles away, it was reported.

The suspect is a resident of Quebec City and attended the University of Laval, reported French-language Radio-Canada.

Photos of Bissonnette have been published on Canadian media but his Facebook account can no longer be accessed.

Bissonnette had liked right-wing Facebook pages [Source: Facebook]
However, 5Pillars managed to take screen grabs of Bissonnette’s Facebook account before it was taken down. It appears that the suspected gunman had liked Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, the Israeli Defence Force, United with Israel and other right-wing anti-Muslim Facebook pages.

The developments follow claims Bissonnette allegedly called police and confessed because he “felt bad”.

He was being hunted by when he reportedly made the call to emergency services just 20 minutes after the massacre in Quebec City.

The 27-year-old man told emergency services he “felt bad” due to his alleged role in the mass shooting and was threatening to kill himself, the French-language newspaper Le Soleil reported.

Police have yet to give a motive for the shootings, citing an ongoing investigation.

Canadian authorities said they did not believe there were any additional suspects and they were confident that the threat was “under control”.

The attack

More than 50 people were at the mosque when gunshots were fired.

[Source: Reuters]
Among those wounded, five were in critical condition in hospital and 12 others sustained minor injuries, according to University of Quebec Hospital Centre spokeswoman Genevieve Dupuis.The dead were aged between about 35 and 65, Canadian authorities have confirmed.Police have also increased security efforts at all religious sites in the province while 75 provincial officers were working on the case.The two suspects may appear in court as early as Monday, officials said.

“Terrorist attack”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both described the attack as a terrorist act, but authorities were reluctant to call it as such.

The attack came as protests over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim countries outraged millions in the US.

US President Donald Trump

When asked if Mr Trump’s actions influenced the attack, Mr Couillard said no, but added: “We are obviously in a world where people tend to divide themselves rather than unite themselves”.

Mr Trump called Mr Trudeau on Monday to offer his condolences and any assistance in the wake of the attack.

 

The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui – who was not inside at the time – said the shooting had happened in the men’s section of the mosque.

“Why is this happening here? This is barbaric,” he said.

On its Facebook page the centre thanked the public “for the hundreds of messages of compassion”.

In June last year the same mosque was the target of an Islamophobic incident when a pig’s head was left in front of the building, with a card saying “bonne appetit”.

 

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