Author Topic: Alexandre Bissonnette Not Likely to be Charged with Terrorism  (Read 154 times)

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Offline cybercoma

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I don't understand why it would be difficult to prove.
For a terrorism charge they have to prove intent, which can be incredibly difficult in itself to prove.

In Canada, section 83.01 of the Criminal Code[1] defines terrorism as an act committed "in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause" with the intention of intimidating the public "…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act."


So we have a number of tricky elements here. They need to first establish that the crime was political, religious, or ideological in its purpose. They then have to establish that he intended to intimidate the public, as oppose to just killing Muslims for the express purpose of killing Muslims (which would be a hate crime and not terrorism). The law goes further though, it's not just intimidation, but intimidation with the express purpose of making the public feel insecure (including economic security [thanks Harper /s]) or for the purpose of forcing the government (or an organization) to do something or to stop doing something.

That's a lot of intent and purpose that you have to build a case around for terrorism. These are very difficult things to prove. Even when you have a number of things built up, you have to convince a jury that these intents and purposes are beyond any doubt whatsoever. If at any point there's reason to believe that those intents and purposes are not there, then it cannot be terrorism.

So what do they do? They peg him with murder. All they have to prove is that he intended to murder people and that he actually carried it out. That's FAR easier to prove. And with so many cases of murder and a lot more of attempted murder, those charges are almost certainly going to stick.

Legal definitions are different from scholarly and even common dictionary definitions. Make no mistake about it, this was an act of terrorism and should be called terrorism, but legal proof is a very different benchmark from editorial proof.