One person’s criminal may be another’s terrorist

Source: Aljazeera

Alexandre Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism although his attack in Quebec has all the elements of a terror act.

A man cries while he prays at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where Bissonnette killed six people [Mathieu Belanger/Reuters]
A man cries while he prays at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where Bissonnette killed six people [Mathieu Belanger/Reuters]

By 

Faisal Kutty is an Associate Professor at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana.

 

Within 24 hours of the Quebec City mosque attack killing six and wounding nineteen, the 27-year-old suspect, Alexandre Bissonnette, stood in court charged with murder and attempted murder.

PM Justin Trudeau and others called it terrorism. But why is there no mention of terrorism or hate in the criminal charges?

The Criminal Code defines terrorism as an act committed, entirely or in part, for political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause that has “the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public with regard to its security.”

In this case, there are plenty of reports documenting the 27-year-old Laval University student’s journey from a moderate conservative to someone with far-right sympathies and connections. And there is no doubt that Bissonnette’s victims, Muslims, were terrorised.

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