Over two years after the tragic Quebec City Mosque shooting, and only months after he was handed a life sentence, Alexandre Bissonette's parents say he's not a terrorist. They even go as far as to beg Justin Trudeau to stop referring to him that way.
Bissonnette was quickly labelled a terrorist after violenting attacking a mosque in Quebec City, killing six people. Raymond Bissonnette, Alexandre's father wrote a letter to Justin Trudeau that has since been obtained by several media outlets. The letter says that by referring to Bissonnette as a terrorist, they have put the entire family in danger.
The label of terrorist first came publicly from Trudeau who, according to the letter said, "make no mistake - this was a terrorist attack" the day after the shooting. However, Bissonnette's father says this isn't a case of terrorism.
In his letter, he points out that his son was charged with six counts of first-degree murder following the mosque shooting, but was never charged with terrorism. He also says that the crime, while extremely terrible, severe, and grave "has no link to terrorism or to any particular ideology."
Canadians, however, disagree. Instead, they have reacted to the news of the letter on Twitter saying that a terrorist is an appropriate title for Bissonnette.
@CTVMontreal He became one as soon as he decided to hurt innocent people. Now everyone sees him as a terrorist and… https://t.co/RDXD7S7bNC— Alicia L. (@Alicia L.)1556284103.0
@CTVMontreal their son COMMITTED A TERRORIST ACT that is a fact.... they are focusing on themselves & how they fee… https://t.co/GVxyGr2GpB— MD WTH are we doing? (@MD WTH are we doing?)1556297504.0
@HuffPostCanada Well, sorry Dad. That’s what he is. As heartbreaking as it is for you.— Some Guy (@Some Guy)1556288242.0
@HuffPostCanada His anger is mis-directed. His son did a horrible thing and is the reason for the danger to his fa… https://t.co/BJsW1VgpBj— Q T 🥧 (@Q T 🥧)1556293322.0
However, there are some Canadians who tend to side with Raymond Bissonette. They say that the Quebec shooting was an act of violence or even a hate crime, but not terrorism.
I think this makes for good discussion. All countries have their standards for what a “terrorist” is, and if Alexan… https://t.co/ATYHvFFPCo— CJ Plourde Rangdrol (@CJ Plourde Rangdrol)1556282435.0
Raymond Bissonnette's states that the reason for his letter now is his family's safety. He says by calling Bissonnette a terrorist, the family has become the subject of threats. He cites one incident in 2017 when a UK citizen flew to Quebec and threatened the family. That person was arrested and deported.
As for Alexandre Bissonnette, he is facing a life sentence with no chance of parole for 40 years.