The slaughter on the Danforth was awful. It needs to be investigated and we need to know as much as we can about the puke who killed two women and injured another dozen people.
When his name was released – 24 hours after the shooting – a message, purportedly from his family, was also issued. In this statement, the claim was made that Hussain suffered from what was apparently an untreatable mental illness. It was a beautifully written statement which you can read here. It is possible Hussain’s parents actually wrote it. But as immigrants from Pakistan, in a moment of incredible stress, the language was a bit too professional to pass the smell test. But that might be wrong. (I note that we have not actually seen either his father (who is apparently in hospital) or his mother, whereabouts unknown.)
It is not unreasonable, even in light of the claim of mental illness, to ask a few questions:
- where was he treated for this mental illness?
- by whom and with what result?
- where did the handgun come from?
- has he travelled since he was an adult?
- if so, where?
- was he on any police or RCMP watchlists?
- what happened to his social media (if any)?
- if his social media was deleted, who gave the order to do that?
- What evidence, if any, does the RCMP or CSIS have as to his online or RL contacts?
Here is the problem: at this point, we have his parents’ “statement” as to his mental illness and not much else.
You don’t have to be an Islamophobe to wonder if this man had motives other than being plain nuts for shooting up the Danforth. And, if it turns out that he did have other motives, what were they and did they connect to Islamic terror? These are reasonable questions and they need to be answered, publically.
We also need to know what efforts have been made to shape the narrative. My own sense is that the “statement” was not written by a family of Pakistani immigrants or a grieving father from his hospital bed.
The great and the good in Canada, like their peers in Europe, go to great lengths to minimize the Islamic aspects of these acts of terror. “Mentally ill” is a fairly common and difficult to refute explanation. And it might well be true – in which case the psychiatric paper trail should be released.
Hussain may very well have been known to the authorities. But was it as a nutter or as a potential terrorist?
Pulling a veil over the entire, horrible, episode and waving away public concern with a parental claim of “mental illness” is simply not going to cut it. We have all heard it too often. The shooter is dead. He no longer has privacy rights. Let’s find out how he came to be in possession of a handgun and why he chose to use it – and let’s make sure that the public knows exactly what happened.
A Second Thought Where Hussain got his gun is an obvious question for police. As various people have pointed out, unless you have a licence you need a very good connection to get a pistol in Canada. Who has those connections? Well, gangsters and terrorists (usually through gangsters). Was Hussain gangster connected? It is quite possible. And if he was it is very likely that he’ll be in a police database. While it may not look like it, the Canadian police and the RCMP are actually pretty good at tracking the members of the various gangs who operate in Canada. So was Hussain in such a database? Oddly enough, I would be relieved to know he was. Because that would go some distance to ruling out a terrorist angle.
But here is the thing, the police need to let the public in on what they have. We have a right to know if this crime was committed by a crazy person, a gang banger or a terrorist.