UPDATE: The person of Morrocan descent who police arrested on charges of being a second gunman in the shooting was actually just a witness, police said. Alexandrew Bissonnette was charged with murdering six people by himself, and most U.S. security experts now believe it is due to Islamophobia, Reuters reported.
Six people were killed and eight people were wounded after gunmen opened fire in a Quebec City mosque yesterday evening—and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says terrorism targeting Muslims is to blame, The New York Times reported.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge," Trudeau said in a statement. "On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who have died, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured. While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear."
The two suspects in the shooting are young men in their twenties or early thirties, but police didn’t reveal any additional information about them. Reuters reported that one of the suspects is Alexandre Bissonnette, a French-Canadian man, and the other alleged suspect of Moroccan heritage. It’s unclear if Khadir is an immigrant or a Canadian-born citizen.
Their motive remains wildly unclear. A witness told Radio Canada that the two shouted “Allahu akbar!”—an Islamic phrase meaning “God is great” There is a chance, however, that this may have been in jest—Bissonnette liked the Facebook pages of Donald Trump and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen on Facebook, along with pages in support of Israel and Quebecois nationalism, according to heavy.com.
Less is known about the second suspect, except that he was a classmate of Bissonnette’s. Both attended a university in the same neighborhood as the mosque.
Five people injured in the shooting are still in the hospital, and several are in critical condition.
[Image: Getty Images]