Canadian authorities have arrested the man they suspect of instigating the terror attack on a mosque in Quebec, which led to six deaths and more being seriously injured.
Alexandre Bissonnette, a student at Laval University who lived in Quebec city, is being held for questioning and is the only suspect they have.
Canadian outlets have also started reporting on his sympathies and politics, which gives us an intruiging insight into how far-right extremism spreads.
According to his friends, Bissonnette showed little interested in extremist politics until March 2016, when France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen visited Quebec City.
She inspired him to become more vocal about activism and he started speaking out against refugees and feminist politics, reports the Globe and Mail.
“He was someone who made frequent extreme comments in social media denigrating refugees and feminism. It wasn’t outright hate, rather part of this new nationalist conservative identity movement that is more intolerant than hateful.”
Bissonnette was also, naturally, a fan of Donald Trump. He followed the Facebook pages of Le Pen and Trump closely.
According to the French-language Montreal Journal:
The “Welcome to Refugees – Quebec City” group also knew Bissonnette. He was “unfortunately known to several activists in Quebec City for his pro-Le Pen and antifeminist positions at Université Laval and on social networks,” the group published on his Facebook page.
Another colleague told them that Bissonnette was a “very right and (an) ultra nationalist white supremacist“.
A man of Moroccan origin was also arrested in relation to the attack but later released by police. They said he was not involved in the attack and later released.
Alexandre Bissonnette has now been charged with six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon.
This is what far-right nationalism looks like