By Jason Wilson
Canadian police have yet to identify the motive for the Toronto van attack in which 10 people were killed, but before the dead had even been counted, many rightwing commentators were rushing to depict the attack as Islamist terrorism.
Within minutes of the attack, Faith Goldy, an “alt-right” provocateur, tweeted that she was “en route” to the scene, from where she posted a string of videos suggesting that the attacker was Middle Eastern – despite official statements that he was white.
Goldy was previously a contributor to the far-right outlet Rebel Media, until she was fired for being too cosy with neo-Nazis during her coverage of the Charlottesville protests last year.
Straight after the attack, another Rebel Media contributor, the former Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins, tweeted that the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was “complicit” and called him a “terrorist shill”.
Police have yet to suggest any possible motivation for the attack, and the alleged perpetrator, Alek Minassian, reportedly has no strong religious affiliations.
But that didn’t stop far-right commentators claiming that the attack had been carried out by Islamists.
Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson criticised Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, who made a call for community solidarity. “A jihadist has just killed 9 people and the Mayor is already out virtue signalling,” Watson tweeted.
Meanwhile, on the Infowars site, Alex Jones released multiple videos under a headline describing the attacker as an “Islamic man” and was already making familiar accusations that authorities were carrying out a cover-up.
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