In the immediate aftermath of Monday's tragic shooting in Toronto which claimed three lives, including the shooter's, and injured over a dozen, the narrative that gunman Faisal Hussain, 29, had mental problems. The shooting came three months after the driver of a van plowed into pedestrians on a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people.
The Hussain family released a statement expressing their condolences to the families “who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions.”
More importantly, the statement cast Feisal as a mentally unstable young man, and not a terrorist:
“We are utterly devastated by the incomprehensible news that our son was responsible for the senseless violence and loss of life that took place on the Danforth,” they said adding that Hussain had “severe mental health challenges” and was struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life.
“Medications and therapy were unable to treat him. While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end,” they said.
The local police, eager to avoid concerns about terrorism, were happy to use this narrative: "At this stage, based on the state of the investigation, which is led by the Toronto police service, there is no connection between that individual and national security," Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.
But as CBS reports, a law enforcement source said that Faisal Hussain visited ISIS websites and may have expressed support for the terrorist group. They were looking into whether Hussain may have lived at one time in Afghanistan and possibly Pakistan, the source said.
Nonetheless, according to CBS "there is no indication that Hussain was directed by ISIS to carry out the attack."
Well, there is now, because according to AFP, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the shooting.
The shooting was committed by “one of the soldiers” of the group who followed the “calls to target nationals of the coalition countries,” according to a statement from the group’s propaganda agency Amaq, the French news agency said.
Meaghan Gray, a representative for Toronto Police, had no immediate comment on the Islamic State claim when contacted by Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Toronto mayor John Tory, instead of addressing the possibility that this was the latest terrorist attack, simply said that Toronto has a gun problem with weapons too readily available to too many people.
“Why does anyone in this city need to have a gun at all?” he asked in an address to city councilors on Monday morning.
Perhaps it is time for the local population to respond and ask the mayor what his plans are to prevent further ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks?