by William Craddick, Disobedient Media:
Witness statements and reports which conflict with the Canadian government’s account of what occurred during the tragic January 29th, 2017 Quebec terror attack at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City raise questions about what actually happened the night of the tragedy. The evidence indicates that contrary to the official narrative, there was more than one gunman and multiple weapons were captured in the possession of arrestees. Media outlets also were so eager to claim the incident was caused by white supremacists that they were fooled into reporting false information from parody news accounts on twitter.
I. Multiple Media Sources Cited Witness Statements Claiming There Were Multiple Gunmen, Number Of Weapons Seized Inconsistent With “Lone Wolf” Narrative
The Canadian government’s claims that the Quebec shooting was a “lone wolf” incident is not consistent with multiple media reports and witness statements that there were at least two gunmen participating in the incident. Canadian news source Le Soleil reported that “at least one gunman” participated in the attack. A witness told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that they saw two masked gunmen enter the building, shout the Takbir (Islamic phrase “Allahu akbar” which means “God is great” in Arabic) and open fire on worshippers. The Sun also ran a statement from a 22 year old student named Abdi, who was reading the Koran with his friends at the time of the attack. Abdi similarly said he was convinced he had seen two attackers and that they shouted the Takbir before opening fire. Reuters also ran an additional report citing another witness statement which said that three attackers had taken part in the incident.
Additionally, the number of weapons reported as having been captured indicates that there was likely more than one attacker. Daily Mail mentioned that weapons captured included an AK-47 assault rifle and two other rifles of unidentified make. The Telegraph also listed two rifles and a handgun as having been confiscated. Both accounts indicate that the number of arms captured are more than could be used by one attacker. Additionally, the multitude of weapons are strange when considered in the context of witness statements which specifically mention that the attackers reloaded several times. This would have been unnecessary in a situation where a lone gunman was using multiple weapons.
The witness statements which established that two or more attackers participated in the Quebec mosque shooting and the accounts about the large number of weapons captured are not consistent with the Canadian government’s position that the attack was perpetrated by one single attacker.
Le Journal De Québec has reported that six cameras inside the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City may have captured footage of the incident. It is strange that the Canadian government has not released footage or images from the cameras to confirm their belief that the terror attack was a “lone wolf” incident.
II. The Canadian Government Censored News Outlets Amid Confusion Over Second Suspect’s Identity
There was immediate confusion online over the true identities of the attackers. An unverified post to Reddit claimed that citizens listening to police scanners picked up chatter indicating that two of the suspects were Syrian refugees who had entered the country last week. That report was not corroborated by any official news sources. Fox News also ran a report stating that one of the suspects arrested was of Moroccan origin. The Moroccan suspect was confirmed by the Toronto Metro as being a local university student by the name of Mohamed el-Khadir.
In the aftermath of the report by Fox, Justin Trudeau‘s office personally intervened and pressured Fox News to retract their statement about the ethnicity of the Mohamed el-Khadir. While official denials of false information by government offices are standard, it is not common to actively intervene and raises questions about the motives behind Trudeau’s desire to limit public access to this information. The Canadian authorities now insist that el-Khadir was a witness and not a suspect. Information that the shooters were Islamic would have been a major embarrassment to Trudeau, who had only days before stated on Twitterthat Canada would accept immigrants fleeing “persecution, terror & war.”
III. Media Outlets Published False Information Indicating The Attackers Were White Supremacists
Media outlets were so eager to paint the incident as a terror attack by white supremacists that troll accounts on Twitter were able to fool them into running false information. The Daily Beast ran a story stating that two “white supremacists” named David M. J. Aurine and Mathieu Fornier had been arrested in connection with the attack. That information was immediately revealed to be false, and had come from a blatantly obviousReuters parody account on Twitter. The Daily Best retracted the information and issued an apology.
Other news organizations were quick to note that the mosque had been the victim of an apparent hate incident where a pig’s head was left outside the door of the facility. No attention was given to the apparent efforts of the Canadian government to contradict the testimony of witnesses or push a “lone wolf” explanation for the incident.