A tragic mosque shooting today in New Zealand killed 49 people. It was even reported that the New Zealand shooter was "inspired" by a Canadian terrorist– Alexandre Bissonnette, who was the Quebec City mosque shooter. Now, police forces across Canada are increasing their security near mosques today on Friday, March 15 in light of the New Zealand mosque attacks.
From coast to coast, police are now increasing their security near Canadian mosques, such as in cities like Montreal, Gatineau, Ottawa, Edmonton and Toronto, according to CBC News. There will also be police presence near mosques in Quebec City, where Bissonnette attacked civilians at a local mosque two years ago and resulted in the deaths of six people.
Ottawa police have released a letter to the community today to reassure locals. "We have no intelligence to suggest that any group in Ottawa is allied with the suspects in New Zealand, but the possibility of a copycat lone actor is always a concern," said police Chief Charles Bordeleau in the letter, which was posted to his Twitter.
Check out the letter from the Chief Ottawa Police below.
Police in Ottawa will be heightening their security today. "Police presence alone has been shown to have a definitive effect on discouraging lone actor attackers," reads the letter.
In the GTA, the Toronto Police Service are increasing security today not only at mosques but also other places of worship. The officers already started heightening security at mosques in the GTA before this afternoon's Friday Prayer, which is an important weekly prayer in Islamism.
Two police officers just walked into the Toronto Mosque and asked to the see the Imam.— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) March 15, 2019
They, then, proceeded to question him.
“Are you feeling safe?”
“Are you okay?”
“Can we do anything to help?”#ChristchurchAttack #ChristchurchMosqueAttack pic.twitter.com/ZbNBiieCa9
Prime minister Justin Trudeau has spoken up on the incident. He released a statement today to the public. "To move forward as a world, we need to recognize diversity as a source of strength, and not a threat. Last night’s victims were fathers, mothers, and children. They were neighbours, friends, and family members. As with every life taken too soon, the full measure of their loss will never be known," reads the statement.
"Canada condemns this attack, and will continue to work closely with New Zealand, our close partner and friend, and others to take action against violent extremism. Hate has no place anywhere. We must all confront Islamophobia and work to create a world in which all people—no matter their faith, where they live, or where they were born—can feel safe and secure."