Canadian officials have found no evidence to support the Islamic State group's claim of responsibility for Sunday's mass shooting in Toronto that killed two and injured 13, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said Wednesday.
The announcement comes despite a Toronto law enforcement source telling CBS News that "Faisal Hussain visited Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) websites and may have expressed support for the terrorist group."
The Islamic State claims that one of its "soldiers" carried out the Danforth attack in response to its calls to target citizens of the US-led coalition battling the jihadist army. The claim appears on one of the group's social media channels, and a security member of ISIS was quoted speaking to the group's Amaq news agency.
Nevertheless, Chief Saunders said, "At this stage, we have no evidence to support these claims."
Canadian crime expert Steve Ryan told network CTV that video showing the way Hussain held his gun while calmly aiming and firing suggests he had firearms training.
After the identity of the killer was announced, Hussain's family sent a news release to some media outlets which said, "Our son had severe mental health challenges, struggling with psychosis and depression his entire life."
That triggered coverage by the CBC that was so sympathetic of Hussain that he also looked like a victim.
But the Toronto Sun interviewed a co-worker of Hussain who said he never saw any signs of mental illness. It also reports that the statement from the Hussain family about Faisal's alleged mental illness was "provided by a professional activist associated with... the National Council of Canadian Muslims (the group formerly called CAIR Canada)."
It identified the man as Mohammed Hashim, "who has reportedly committed himself to 'framing a new narrative of Muslims in Canada' and creating a 'national political movement.'"
Ensaf Haider, the Canadian wife of a Saudi-held political prisoner, tweeted: "Politically correct reporters keep saying murderer Faisal Hussain suffered 'mental illness.' Which Islamic terrorist was NOT mentally ill? These jihadis hate women and Faisal aimed at and shot the woman. He's a jihadi, no doubt about it Shame on @CBCNews for covering up the truth."
Politically correct reporters keep saying murderer Faisal Hussain suffered ‘mental illness’. Which Islamic terrorist was NOT mentally ill? These jihadis hate women and Faisal aimed at and shot the woman. He’s a jihadi, no doubt about it Shame on @CBCNews for covering up the truth
— Ensaf haidar (@miss9afi) July 23, 2018
Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic lllusion of an Islamic State, wrote, "No sooner was it revealed that the Toronto mass murderer was a 29-year-old Muslim of Pakistani descent, 'consultants' and 'experts' lined up on various TV networks twisting themselves into halal pretzels, trying to avoid the elephant in the room staring at them — a Muslim hate crime."
"Thus the subject on the evening news became one of lack of funding of mental health and gun crime," Fatah continued, "painting the murderer himself as a victim with not even a hint of anger at the man who had declared war on a Toronto street of partygoers, killing two girls, 18 and 10."
In the wake of the shooting, the city of Toronto is now seeking federal authority to outlaw the sale of handguns and their ammunition within the metropolitan area.