Faisal Hussain, 29, opened fire on July 22 in Toronto’s bustling Greektown neighborhood, murdering 10-year-old Julianna Kozis and 18-year-old Reese Fallon—who was about to start college this fall—and wounding 13 others.
The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, though Toronto police would not speculate on a motive. The wording used by ISIS in their proclamation suggests that the terror group viewed the attacker as “inspired” by their propaganda. The Canadian authorities had previously apprehended Hussain in 2010 concerning his pro-ISIS activities online, reports the Toronto Sun.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences to the shooting victims. However, his assurance that “we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time” apparently was not meant to be taken literally since Trudeau couldn’t interrupt his ongoing vacation. In fact, he saw fit to add more personal days to his itinerary.
Although ISIS attacks in Canada have occurred prior to Trudeau’s tenure, his predecessor, Stephen Harper, actually viewed the terror group as a credible threat. Under Harper, Canada took part in American military strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, launching nearly 180 airstrikes on ISIS targets since November 2014.
Harper was sharply criticized by Trudeau for involving Canada. After winning the election, Trudeau withdrew Canadian jets from combat missions in Iraq, much to the dismay of the Kurdish fighters who relied on them.
Trudeau has a nine-year long record of supporting Islamists. He defended his government’s payout of $10.5 million Canadian dollars (CAD) to convicted Al-Qaeda terrorist Omar Khadr, who assembled improvised explosive devices that maimed and killed American and Canadian troops in Afghanistan, as well as tossing a grenade that killed U.S Army Sgt. Christopher Speer on July 27, 2002.
But what else can be expected from someone who believes that Canadian nationals who join ISIS can be rehabilitated into “powerful” voices against radicalism in Canada? It was the Trudeau government that rewarded a convicted terrorist with Canadian citizenship and has used the Canada Summer Job Grant to fund an Islamic group with terror ties and another with a history of anti-gay rhetoric.
But not to worry. Canadians can rest easy knowing that this same government has also allocated $367,000 CAD to rehabilitation projects that use “art-based pedagogy and poetry” to fight against ISIS radicalization.
Why isn’t the mainstream Canadian media holding Trudeau accountable? Canadian authorities and the media withheld the name of the gunman for a day until it coincided with the CBC (Canada’s state-run broadcaster) release of an official statement from his “family” blaming the incident on mental illness. It turns out that the document was actually written by a notorious spin doctor.
Yet the media there seems intent on sympathetically portraying the gunman and his family. The Toronto Star published op-eds blaming the shooting on the murderer’s masculinity, while another described the gunman as suffering from “a complicated past full of family misfortune.” A columnist with the National Post wrote that those who do not support the shooter’s family should be ashamed of themselves.
It almost seems as though the media forgot that there were actual victims of this massacre, including a little girl. Perhaps we should also show sympathy to the shooter’s older brother, who had gang ties and was facing drug and weapons-related charges, and who likely supplied the shooter with his gun.
At least 60 ISIS terrorists currently reside in Canada. The Trudeau government must understand that Islamic terrorism is a national security threat. The media owe it to the victims of this attack to stop trying to cover for the Trudeau administration’s colossal failure to deal with it.
Bradley Martin is a senior fellow with the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center, and Deputy Editor for the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.