When details were sketchy Sunday night about the deadly mosque shooting in Quebec, Canada, a self-described journalist who indicates he's a Columbia School of Journalism student sent out the following tweet:
"Too early to know if Quebec mosque shooting was perpetrated by right-wing extremists," Conor McCorkmick tweeted. "If it was, then this is result of Trump rhetoric."
McCormick also indicates on his Twitter profile that he formerly worked in Tunisia for Middle East Eye, The New Arab and Al-Monitor. A photograph of what appears to be Arabic writing serves as his Twitter background image.
After McCormick posted his tweet, he took heat from those who said his words were irresponsible:
@ConorMichael28 then don’t allude to it. You don’t have to tweet before the facts are in. The public distrusts us enough, this doesn’t help.— Nate Benson (@Nate Benson) 1485760153.0
@teyegirlily @ConorMichael28 Typical lying leftist, doing his utmost to perpetrate _FAKE NEWS_. No remorse, because they're _shameless_!— Christopher G. Adamo (@Christopher G. Adamo) 1485794435.0
@ConorMichael28 easy to blame Trump rhetoric, not internal Canadian hate-rhetoric? "Report news first, ask questions later"— Seth Frantzman (@Seth Frantzman) 1485759246.0
But late Monday afternoon, USA Today reported that a man known to express anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiments on social media was arraigned in the deaths of six people and wounding of 17 others at the Quebec City mosque.
Police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, who faces six charges of first-degree murder, USA Today added, citing court documents. A second man initially in custody was released Monday and characterized as a witness, the paper said.
An activist group Bienvenue aux Refugies (Welcome for Refugees) said Bissonnette is known for supporting French National Front leader Marine Le Pen, an anti-immigrant politician running in France's presidential election this spring, USA Today added.
And now McCormick appears to be gloating on his Twitter feed:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump's travel ban on several Muslim countries.
Couillard said he would "not go there" when asked if he blamed rhetoric in in the U.S.
Trudeau said in Parliament the victims were targeted simply because of their religion and spoke to directly to the more than 1 million Muslims who live in Canada, saying, "We are with you."
Trump called Trudeau to express condolences to the Canadian people and to offer any assistance that might be needed, Trudeau's office said.
The victims were fathers, businessmen, a university professor and others who had gathered for evening prayers and were shot in the back, said Mohamed Labidi, the vice-president of the where the attack happened.
"'It's a very, very big tragedy for us," Labidi said through tears. "We have a sadness we cannot express."
In the summer of 2016 a pig's head was left on the doorstep of the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in the middle of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Practicing Muslims do not eat pork.
Trudeau had earlier reacted to Trump's visa ban for people from some Muslim-majority countries by tweeting Saturday: "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
(H/T: Young Conservatives)