15-year-old Montrealer has become 'radicalized': report
Published Monday, November 24, 2014 11:34AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 25, 2014 8:05AM EST
A 15-year-old Montrealer who had been delving into the world of radical Islam was in contact with the man who mowed down a soldier in St. Jean sur Richelieu last month, according to La Presse.
The teenager can’t be named by law because he is a minor, but the newspaper claims he and Martin Couture-Rouleau were in contact via Facebook.
Couture-Rouleau struck and killed Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and injured another soldier wearing civilian clothing with his car Oct. 20.
Police aren’t sure how long the boy was in contact with Couture-Rouleau.
It was his father, recognizing that his son was getting into radical Islam, who alerted police to his son’s behaviour.
The family is North African and the father is Muslim, but told the newspaper he doesn’t share the same views as radical Muslims.
When RCMP investigators went through the boy’s computer, they found "jihadist" propaganda.
He attended a private high school where he was not a problem student, the principal said.
In October, the 15-year-old robbed a West Island depanneur and made off with $2,200.
He planned to use the money to buy a plane ticket to a country that adheres to Sharia law. He told police he felt he was living a life of sin in Canada among infidels.
He has pleaded guilty to two charges related to the robbery. His case will be back in court in December.
The incident comes as a group of local Muslims are launching a Quebec campaign to end radicalization.
It’s part of the national campaign by the Ahmadiyya Jama’at of Canada to stop the growing crisis.
The group said it is worried that some young people may be vulnerable to extremist ideologies.
Members of the As Salem Mosque on St Michel Blvd., a mosque with about 1,000 members, said many people are getting the wrong image of Islam.
They say those who believe in jihad have something of a warped sense of the faith, and that the first chapter of the Quran states that God is merciful and compassionate.
Muslims at that mosque said they believe their religion is being hijacked by other groups for their own political gains.
They intend to hold a conference at Université de Montreal Tuesday, and will be at McGill University Wednesday to promote what they say Islam is about.
“What Islam says to people of other faiths is that we are all brothers and sisters of faith. Period. Now what we want to portray and show to the world is you don’t have to be Muslim to perhaps have salvation. You don’t have to be a believer in anything. If you do good you are a person,” said Khalid Butt, community spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama-at of Montreal.
Investigators work at the scene near an overturned car in in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (Pascal Marchand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)