Can a 29-year-old depressed man also be a jihadist?
By LEO HOHMANN
A young woman and a little girl were killed Sunday night in a mass shooting carried out in a city where handgun laws are highly restrictive. Thirteen others were wounded, five critically, in a sad story that the media has again reduced to one of mental illness and guns.
Toronto police and the Ontario Special Investigations Unit waited nearly 20 hours after the shooting, which happened about 10 p.m. Sunday, before they released the perpetrator’s name — Faisal Hussain, age 29, “of Toronto.”
Hussain, dressed in black, can be seen on an Instagram video methodically walking up, pulling out his handgun and shooting into a restaurant where well-dressed Canadians were sipping drinks and eating desserts. He killed 18-year-old Reese Fallon, an aspiring nurse, and a 10-year-old girl, whose name has not yet been released.
Bodies reportedly laid strewn across several blocks.
By Monday late afternoon the provincial authorities finally provided the name of the deceased killer, but they still withheld other vital information, such as his immigration status. The Canadian media played along with its well-rehearsed game of don’t ask don’t tell.
Hussain’s motive, and much of his background, remains a mystery, they said. Did he come to Canada with his parents as a child refugee? Was he born in the country to migrant parents? If so, from what country did the family migrate?
All of these questions — legitimate questions for any curious journalist — took a backseat to the killer’s mental condition. By Tuesday morning the story dropped off the radar of pretty much all the major media, including Fox News.
Statements from the killer’s family indicate he had been treated for mental-health issues while authorities said he was “known to police.” If that sounds familiar, it should. Mental health is initially cited as the number-one cause of jihad attacks in the West, including those in Orlando, San Bernardino, the Crossroads Mall knife attack in Minnesota, the Ohio State University car and knife attack, and many others.
The police also have yet to say how Hussein died: Was he struck by a police bullet in the ensuing shootout, or was it a self-inflicted gunshot wound? If he was, in his mind, committing an act of jihad against infidel Canadians, he likely did not shoot himself — a jihadist never shoots himself.
The Hussain family released a statement expressing their condolences to the families “who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions.”
“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.
Note to law enforcement: Just because Hussain was depressed does not rule out him being motivated by jihad.
Friends & neighbors saw no evidence of mental illness
Hussain reportedly still lived with his parents in Toronto’s Thorncliffe area, well known for its high-rises and diversity. People born in Sri Lanka, Slovakia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Canada all live in the neighborhood.
Neighbors of Faisal Hussain spoke to reporter Ginella Massa of City News and said they were “shocked” by the rampage, calling Hussain “humble” and “quiet.” They told the Associate Press they had no knowledge of him suffering from acute depression or any other form of mental illness. To the contrary, his friends said he was “always cheerful.”
Note the following passage reported by the AP:
Ashley Robinson saw Faisal Hussain almost every day when she walked her dog on the winding sidewalk near her high-rise apartment building in Toronto.
“He always was smiling,” she said, adding they lived in the same building in Thorncliffe Park, a 21-story gray building that’s home to immigrants and Canadians alike.
The tall man from floor seven made a point to pet Robinson’s low-slung lab-heeler mix named Dax and would often remark that he was a good dog. “A lot of people here are afraid of my dog, but he wasn’t.”
Rising gun violence in a supposedly gun-free city
Toronto prides itself as being one of the safest big cities in the world. Getting a handgun, legally, is near impossible for the average law-abiding citizen.
Yet, the city’s pristine image of safety is faltering. Toronto has had 23 gun homicides so far this year, compared to 16 fatal shootings in the first half of 2017. Somehow, criminals and terrorists who want a gun, can find a gun.
Hussain is just the latest example of this. Some witnesses heard him fire upwards of 25 rounds.
Andrew Mantzios, a witness, described the shooter as having “this horrible expression on his face” as he fired, seemingly randomly. “And then a lady tried to run and she fell down,” he told Globe and Mail. “He turned around and shot her point blank, two or three times.” The witness said the suspect shot into businesses, including Caffe Demetre, a dessert shop, and a restaurant called Christine’s.
Mantzious told the news site that a woman was “executed,” and added that people were “falling all over the place – maybe seven, eight, nine of them.” Mantzious also said: “But the guy … had this look on his face, while I saw his profile, like he was screaming at something and shooting.”
But don’t worry. By mid-week the restaurants will be reopened and the blood cleaned off the streets. Customers will be back in the very same seats from which people were shot down like rubber ducks at a country fair. Twitter will be alight with hashtags #TorontoStrong. Reese Fallon will be all but forgotten and her government will not change a thing, other than to blame the carnage on guns and mental illness.
UPDATE — new information as of July 25, 2018: Two days after this article was written, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Toronto attack by Faisal Hussain, calling him a “soldier of the Islamic State,” but Canadian police say they still can’t find a motive and aren’t ready to call the attack an act of terrorism. Also of note, it has been revealed that the letter from Hussain’s family stating his problems with mental-health issues has been linked to a Muslim Brotherhood spin-doctor working for Canada’s version of CAIR.