A terrorist attack took place on Sunday night 29 January at the Mosque of the Islamic Center of Quebec. As a result of this attack, 6 people were killed and five others seriously injured are in a critical state at the City hospital. 2 guineans were among the killed in this terrorist attack in Quebec City.
The first, Mamadou Tanou Barry was a computer scientist, accountant by profession and worked for a private company. He was 42 years old, married with two small children: a 3-year-old boy and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
The second one was Ibrahima Barry and was 39 years old. He was also married and father of 4 children: two girls of 13 and 7 years and two boys of 3 years and 2 years. He was working for the Government of Quebec.
According to witnesses cited by the Canadian press, two hooded and heavily armed people broke into the Mosque where the Muslim faithful fulfilled their obligations. They opened fire killing 6 people and wounding a dozen others of which 5 are in critical condition.
.The victims would be between 35 and 70 years of age. Some fifty people were present at the time of the drama.
The authorities have announced the arrest of two suspects. One of the two alleged perpetrators of the shootings contacted the police to surrender, Denis Turcotte, a police inspector in Quebec City, said on Monday. The young man, “in his late twenties, early thirties,” called the emergency number nearly fifteen minutes after reporting the killings to report his whereabouts. The other suspect had already been arrested.
The assailants could have reloaded three times, acording to the president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui. On Monday morning, the attack had not yet been claimed. “At the moment, there is no reason to believe there will be any other suspects connected to the event,” said a police spokesperson.
The mosque had already been targeted in 2016 .
The police authorities said in the evening that they treated the attack as a terrorist act. A large perimeter of security was established around the premises, while the Quebec public security minister, Martin Coiteux, said on Twitter that “the police management structure against terrorism was deployed”.
A faithful present in the prayer room gave testimony to Radio Canada. He says that the two assailants “seemed to have a good Quebec accent. One of them started shooting. As soon as he opened fire, he shouted: “Allahu Akbar!” [“God is great!”]. The bullets hit people who were praying. People who prayed lost their lives. ” “We threw ourselves on the ground directly. Many people who prayed came out of their prayers and threw themselves on the ground, “he added.
It was in the Sainte-Foy district, in a vast area of offices and shops, about ten kilometers west of the historic center of Quebec City, that the drama unfolded. The Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec City had already been the target of a hateful act in June 2016 when a pig’s head had been placed in front of one of the gates during Ramadan. She was wrapped in a transparent gift paper with a note on which was written: “Good [sic] appetite”.
A few weeks later, an Islamophobic letter entitled “What is most serious: a pig’s head or a genocide” had been distributed in the neighborhood. “We were put on a pork head. We were told that it was an isolated act, but today we have deaths. It is minutes and hours of terror and anguish, “Mr. Yangui said. He also said he had not received threats in recent days. The CCIQ was, however, subject to regular police surveillance and was equipped with surveillance cameras.
In the months leading up to Sunday’s attack, several reports were made to the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization leading to Violence. The director of the center said he had noted several indications indicating a rise of the extreme right in the Quebec City area. Several observers went in this direction a few hours after the drama.
On Sunday evening, there were many political reactions to this event. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first commented on the drama on Twitter: “Tonight Canadians are mourning the victims of the loose attack in a mosque in Quebec City. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. Later in the evening, Mr. Trudeau denounced, in a statement, a “terrorist attack directed against Muslims in a place of worship and refuge”. And to recall that “Canadian Muslims constitute an important element of the national fabric”.
The head of the government of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, also condemned this attack. “Quebec categorically rejects this barbaric violence. Let us unite against violence and solidarity with Quebeckers of Muslim faith, “he reacted on Twitter. “I condemn this senseless gesture,” declared the Mayor of Québec, Régis Labeaume.
Late in the night, they both held a press conference with Mr. Coiteux. He said that “the safety of places of worship will be ensured throughout Quebec”. “Muslim places of worship are the subject of special attention,” said Mr. Couillard, who reminded Muslims in Quebec: “You are at home. ”
Solidarity gatherings with the Muslims of Quebec City were organized on Sunday evening, on Facebook, while dozens of people gathered spontaneously in front of the mosque. Other rallies are expected to take place on Monday (January 30th) across the country.