At a Glance - January 30

Six Killed in Shooting at Quebec Mosque; One Suspect Arrested

In Canada, six people were killed and at least eight others wounded on the night of January 29 as at least one gunmen opened fire at a mosque in Quebec City. One suspect has been arrested, according to Quebec provincial police. Investigators have provided no information on the motive.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the shooting “a terrorist attack on Muslims.”

Witnesses initially said two or three gunmen in hoods or masks opened fire during evening prayers at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center. (Photo shows police outside the mosque.) In addition to the six killed and eight wounded, 39 people escaped unharmed, indicating that more than 50 people were in the mosque at the time of the attack.

The mosque was previously the target of a bias crime, when someone left a bloody pig’s head at the front door last June.

Rochester Man Who Plotted Bar Attack Was in Direct Communication With ISIS

Emanuel Lutchman, age 26, of Rochester, New York, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week for plotting a New Year’s Eve machete attack at a bar in Rochester (see photo) in December 2015, was in direct communication with senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to the plea agreement. Before he was in contact with FBI informants, Lutchman reached out to ISIS and was able to contact Abu Issa al-Amriki, a now-deceased ISIS recruiter and external operations planner. (Last year, the Defense Department announced that on April 22, Abu Saad al-Sudani, a.k.a. Abu Isa al-Amriki, a Sudanese national who was an ISIS external attack planner and recruiter who was involved in planning attacks against the United States, was killed in a targeted coalition airstrike in Syria.)

According to the plea agreement, when Lutchman contacted al-Amriki online in December 2015, al-Amriki told him to plan an attack against a populated area on New Year’s Eve and kill a number of unbelievers. Al-Amriki advised Lutchman to write something before the attack and give it to another ISIS member so that after the attack, the ISIS member could post it online to announce Lutchman’s allegiance to ISIS. Al-Amriki emphasized that Lutchman was “behind enemy lines,” that Lutchman was the closest person to their most hated enemy, and that he had the chance to do things that ISIS wishes it could do.

In a pre-sentencing letter to the judge, Lutchman wrote that he had struggled with mental illness most of his life, and that he had moved on from “radical Islamic ideology.” However, when the judge pronounced the 20-year sentence, he launched into an agitated outburst, expressing his support for ISIS. While shouting and cursing at the judge, he yelled, “You think because I’m going to be incarcerated, there aren’t going to be more of us rise up?”

Interfaith Issues: Investigators Attempting to Determine Cause of a Fire at a Texas Mosque

Investigators are sifting through the ashes of a mosque in southern Texas and say it is still too early to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed the building in the early morning hours of January 28. The mosque in Victoria, about 120 miles north of Corpus Christi, collapsed after a large fire that took four hours to extinguish. Victoria’s Fire Marshal requested the assistance of the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the investigation.

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