Killer obsessed with Muslims, feminism, guns
Regrets ‘not having shot more people’
QUEBEC • Quebec City mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette told a prison social worker last fall that he regretted not having shot more people when he opened fire in a mosque in January 2017.
Bissonnette met with social worker Guylaine Cayouette on Sept. 20, 2017, after a nurse told her that Bissonnette was not feeling well. According to a statement from Cayouette read in court at Bissonnette’s sentencing hearing Monday, Cayouette said Bissonnette told her it’s not true that he didn’t remember what happened the night of the attack or that he heard voices.
“I wasn’t targeting Muslims. It could have been anybody. I wanted glory,” Cayouette said Bissonnette told her. “I regret not having shot more people. The victims are in heaven and I’m living in hell.”
In the courtroom, Bissonnette was smiling as the statement was read aloud.
Bissonnette, 28, killed six men in the shooting rampage. He pleaded guilty last month to six counts of firstdegree murder and six of attempted murder.
In the meeting with Cayouette, Bissonnette described part of the shooting in detail. He told her that when his gun jammed, he smiled at the two men outside the mosque, then took out his handgun and shot and killed them.
He also described the scene inside the mosque where Azzedine Soufiane tried to stop him from continuing his rampage. Bissonnette shot him repeatedly and killed him. In a police interrogation video shown at the sentencing hearing last week, Bissonnette said he did not remember anyone trying to stop him inside the mosque.
Cayouette described Bissonnette as calm, articulate and coherent, though she said he cried at some points in their conversation.
Earlier Monday, the Crown presented evidence from Bissonnette’s computer that indicated the Quebec mosque shooter was obsessed with U.S. President Donald Trump, Muslims, South Carolina church attacker Dylann Roof, mass shootings and feminists.
In the month before the shooting, Bissonnette was checking Trump’s Twitter feed every day and reading news about Trump on a daily basis, according to evidence presented at his sentencing hearing.
Also on Bissonnette’s laptop was a selfie of him wearing a hat with a “Make America Great Again” logo, prosecutor Thomas Jacques told the court.
A 45-page report detailing the contents of his computer was presented by the prosecution on Monday, the fourth day of the hearing.
Last week, for the first time, the court heard a motive for the attack from Bissonnette.
In a video recording of Bissonnette’s three-hour interrogation shown Friday, he told police the decision by the federal government to accept more refugees spurred his decision to shoot people.
A day before the attack, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had tweeted: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada”
That tweet was in response to Trump’s decision on Jan. 27, 2017, to impose travel restrictions on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Jacques said Bissonnette checked Trudeau’s Twitter feed, and had read that Jan. 29 tweet.
“The same themes come up repeatedly (in Bissonnette’s computer): firearms, mass shootings, the question of Islam and feminism, and the mosque” where the attack occurred, prosecutor Thomas Jacques said Monday.
Bissonnette had images of the interior and exterior of the mosque on his computer. He had also repeatedly checked the Facebook page of the mosque and its website in the month before the attack. He researched statistics showing the percentage of people from various religions in countries around the world, and the number of immigrants in those countries. He also did research on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. On his computer were also found cartoons targeting Muslims.
Bissonnette also consulted repeatedly Facebook pages of feminist and Muslim groups at Université
HITLER RESEARCH, CARTOONS TARGETING MUSLIMS FOUND.
Laval, where he had been a student until a few weeks earlier.
The contents of the computer reveal that in the days before the attack Bissonnette was almost daily watching videos and reading about Dylann Roof, who murdered nine black churchgoers in a South Carolina church in 2015.
In the weeks before the attack, Bissonnette checked the Twitter feeds of rightwing American commentators, as well as conspiracy theorists, and alt-right and white supremacist/neo-Nazi leaders, a document presented at the hearing shows.
He also spent time online researching Marc Lépine, the man responsible for the massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique that left 14 women dead in 1989; and the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in which two teens killed 13 people in 1999.