Killer ob­sessed with Mus­lims, fem­i­nism, guns

Re­grets ‘not hav­ing shot more peo­ple’

Ottawa Citizen - - CANADA - Andy riga

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.

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