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aggrieved entitlement empathy deficit incel mass killing misogyny terrorism

Incel terrorism: Alek Minassian, alleged killer of ten in Toronto van attack was inspired by Elliot Rodger [UPDATED]

Alek Minassian

UPDATE: The CBC has confirmed with Facebook that Minassian’s post declaring himself an incel and hailing Elliot Rodger is real. 

By David Futrelle

Earlier today, a van plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto, killing ten before speeding off; all indications are that it was a deliberate attack. Police have arrested 25-year-old  Alek Minassian, the man they say was the driver.

Now both CBC and NBC news are suggesting that Minassian may have been inspired by Elliot Rodger, who murdered six people in Isla Vista California in 2014 in what he saw as an act of “retribution” against young women for their unwillingness to have sex with him. As readers of this blog know well, “Saint Elliot” has since been hailed as a hero by many of the internet’s self-described incels, or involuntary celibates.

Not long after Minassian’s name was made public, a screenshot of an alleged Facebook post by Minassian began circulating online:

Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt. 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!

The text:

Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt. 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!

On the face of it, this screenshot looks sketchy as hell, very much like a 4chan hoax.

But several journalists have found what appears to be evidence that it was posted around the time of the attack, several hours BEFORE Minassian’s name was released to the public.

NBC is also reporting the possible incel connection, and its sources appear to be law enforcement officials, not the screenshot. 

If true, it looks as though Minassian was clearly inspired by incel ideology and likely thought of himself as an incel.

If so, it would be dishonest and dangerous to dismiss this as a “mental health” issue. Incel is a poisonous and hateful ideology, not a form of mental illness, and killings carried out in its name should be considered deliberate terrorism just as ISIS bombings or KKK lynchings are. Misogyny is hate, just as racism and religious intolerance are.

I’ll try to update this post as we learn more. But I would not be surprised in the slightest if Minassian is an incel.

As I’ve been saying for some time, the incel movement is a real danger; it appeals to young men consumed by bitterness who don’t think they have much to lose. And instead of helping them solve their problems it radicalizes them and ratchets up both their bitterness and their “nothing to live for” nihilism. It’s a movement that idolizes mass killers and that has only slightly ironically heralded Elliot Rodger as its patron “saint.”

With all of its talk of Chads and Staceys, the incel movement often seems more ridiculous than dangerous, but the plain fact is that terrorists are often motivated by ideologies that most other people would consider ridiculous. Things that seem ridiculous can also be very dangerous.

I don’t know if Minassian is an incel, but I know, as I have been saying for some time, there will be more incel killings. The incel movement is just that poisonous.

Feel free to post additional info you may run across in the comments below.

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Katamount
Katamount
4 years ago

Now the site for one of the worst mass killings on Canadian soil.

It’s going to be so strange going back up there once it’s re-opened. I don’t go up that far north often (usually just to catch a movie at Empress Walk), but as I mentioned in yesterday’s thread, I was in that exact spot on Sunday afternoon to visit the Gibson House Museum. Kinda feels like somebody stepping on my metaphorical grave.

No doubt Mel Lastman Square will be covered in flowers and wreaths in the days to come. I anticipate there will be a memorial sculpture or monument erected in the Square at some point down the line, but it’s still going to be in the back of my mind next time I’m at Empress Walk.

Joes
Joes
4 years ago

Hello:

This is definitely an act of terror or mass killing. Everyone is looking to answer why. He acted alone—knew what he was doing, was stopped by police. He tried to provoke the police–didn’t work.

He is fully responsible–no mental health–he did this on purpose–nothing to do with his mind.

Enough said.

Saint-Somnia
Saint-Somnia
4 years ago

The Toronto police chief praised the arresting cop, and said “officers here are taught to use as little force as possible in any given situation”. American cops, take note.

Keep in mind the person they “peacefully apprehended” was white

Cap'n Coke
Cap'n Coke
4 years ago

The moment I saw the killer’s name posted, I immediately knew that he’d be misidentifed as a Muslim by the usual suspects. “Minassian” is an Armenian name. I don’t want to get into the debate over whether or not Armenians are white (see this article over whether or not Kim Kardashian counts as white or a WoC), but they are most definitely not Muslim. I had a friend in high school of Armenian descent who was a trans man, and he had a lot of problems coming out to his very Christian parents.

Unfortunately, given the corner of the world that Armenia is in, as well as general bigotry against anybody with names that sound vaguely Middle Eastern, I was not surprised to see people joking about “vans of peace” afterwards. Nor was I surprised to see the people in Alex Jones’ comments sections blaming refugees.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
4 years ago

Yeah, when I heard the description of the apprehension last night, how he walked towards the police officer and said he had a gun, my first thought was ‘this guy is trying to do suicide by cop’.

And yes, Toronto does have some of the best-trained police officers in the world: the Emergency Task Force is sort of a combined SWAT team and hostage negotiation squad, and it can require some quick thinking to figure out which mode to be in. That said, that’s one small task force, and the great mass of the Toronto police are not any better than police across North America.

(One night a few years back I was on a bus pulling up to a subway station, and saw both ETF and CBNRE vans outside the station. ETF == Emergency Task Force, CBNRE == Chemical/Biological/Nuclear/Radiological/Explosive, aka ‘the bomb squad’. Not a set of police vehicles you want to be anywhere near.)

Unfortunately, some of the same ‘police culture’ issues that cause so many other problems also means that in general they’re likely to be far more sympathetic to ‘incel’ types than they should be. The Toronto Police may not have had the RCMP’s rather public issues with internal sexual harassment, but they’re still rather a ‘boy’s club’.

I actually go up through that part of town pretty regularly, given that I live down by Eglinton but work up in Markham, and I’ve got a friend I game with up in the Finch/Bayview area.

Gr8dane
Gr8dane
4 years ago

The only mass killing in Canada with a higher count of victims is one that happened 28 years ago, on Dec 6th 1989. Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal. It’s an engineering school affiliated with Montreal University. A male student (who aspired to become an engineer) but was failing decided to blame his failure on women who were entering the field. The perpetrator, Marc Lepine had a long history of misogyny, he hated feminists and women entering traditionally male occupations. On Dec 6th he entered the school and went into a classroom where he methodically separated the men from the women and before shooting them he stated “You’re women, you’re going to be engineers. You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists. He then shot all 9 of them, killing 6 and injuring the other 3. He left that classroom and shot and killed 5 more women and inured another 7. In total 14 women were killed and 10 were injured.
The Canadian justice system did not hold a public inquiry because they believed that the cause of the attack (hatred of women) was too divisive and would only lead to more antifeminist violence. They tried to bury the reason for the massacre but the survivors spoke out and informed the public of Marc Lepine’s statements. His suicide letter was also leaked and in it contained his reasons for the massacre, his vitriolic hate towards women and feminists. But the media tried to blame it on his mental instability and a difficult upbringing.
If indeed the man responsible for the killings in Toronto is an incel then the top two mass killings in Canada were driven by misogyny.

Unfortunately, some of the same ‘police culture’ issues that cause so many other problems also means that in general they’re likely to be far more sympathetic to ‘incel’ types than they should be. The Toronto Police may not have had the RCMP’s rather public issues with internal sexual harassment, but they’re still rather a ‘boy’s club’.

totally agree

It was on January 24th 2011 a Toronto police officer told a classroom of university students that if they want to keep from getting raped they need to stop dressing like sluts. This inspired the slutwalk.
The RCMP has too many issues to name, internal sexual harassment definitely, also the fact that they don’t give a shit when a First Nations female goes missing, example of their neglect Robert Pickton and the countless others that go missing along a notorious stretch of highway which is now called the Highway of Tears.

tim gueguen
4 years ago

@Cap’n Coke I made a brief visit to 4chan yesterday, my first and most likely last visit to that pesthole. There was quite a bit of argument on the couple of posts I looked at whether Minassian was Muslim or not. One chucklehead even said that he was probably Muslim because Armenians with the name Minassian come from an area that’s near Muslim areas. Given that there are believed to be about a thousand Muslims in Armenia, mainly of Kurdish descent, I think that’s a bit unlikely.

A lot of those arguing he was Muslim based it on him appearing to have a beard in the arrest footage. Some real deep thinkers there, I tell ya. And it’s even more silly once you see the artist’s sketch from today’s court appearance, which shows Minassian without a beard.

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
4 years ago

The black community in Toronto isn’t fond of the police, either, due to the excessive number of black men stopped and questioned on spurious excuses. 😛 No, Canada is not a racism-free utopia. :/ Not yet, anyway.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
4 years ago

@Gr8Dane:
Yeah, I remember that comment that started the SlutWalk back when it happened. Gah. No self-awareness, some of these people.

As for Pickton, well, I have family in B.C. And I remember hearing interviews with some of the people who tried getting the police involved, up to and including ‘my daughter has never missed a check-in call over the last couple of years even working on the street and now she’s been missing for weeks’, and ‘half the prostitutes in downtown are warning about this guy with the pig farm’, with the police just actively writing it all off.

There’s a reason why there’s an entirely new Independent Investigation Office in B.C., where the chief investigator must never have been a police officer, and none of the people working there have been police officers within the last five years. It’s because there is lots of evidence that an oversight organization with some actual teeth was necessary.

@tim gueguen:
As I noted yesterday, there’s a fairly significant Muslim population in that part of town, too; at least a significant Persian population. (Admittedly, most of it is north of Finch rather than south.) Really not the part of town I’d think a Muslim would be likely to attack.

@FishyGoat:
Well, yeah. Heck, Royson James, who’s a major columnist for the Toronto Star (and usually on the front of the GTA section), has had some rather uncivil things to say about the police over the years. If someone who’s rich and has a large platform gets hassled, you really have to wonder how much other hassling just gets swept under the carpet.

(Well, no, you don’t have to wonder, really. Just look at how long the ‘carding’ debate has gone on, despite multiple attempts at making it illegal and the police actively looking for loopholes to keep doing it.)

And there’s a reason why Black Lives Matter pushed the showdown which resulted in the Toronto Pride Parade preventing uniformed police officers from participating. (Police officers are still welcome to attend as private individuals, despite deliberate muck-stirring from people trying to imply otherwise.) And honestly, given the rather rocky relationship between the police and the LGBT community in general, pieces of which are coming back up in the Bruce MacArthur investigation, I really don’t see that the police association has a leg to stand on when insisting they should be allowed to participate.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Better than police in the US is kind of a low bar to clear, isn’t it?

I won’t be surprised if there’s some alt-righties calling him Jewish too. Remember all the anti-Semitic memes from gamergaters about Anita Sarkeesian who’s also of Armenian descent? Anyone who commits a crime that doesn’t look northern European, British or Irish is likely to be labelled either Muslim or Jewish by the right.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
4 years ago

@WWTH:
Yes, it is a low bar, and some forces up here have barely been stumbling over it.

Kit Kat
Kit Kat
4 years ago

… what’s the term for that situation where a judge knowingly hands down an obviously wrong verdict, because to do otherwise would set a precedent that would require too many powerful people to change how they do things?

(Moral) corruption, per chance?

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
4 years ago

@Jenora There have been many instances of limbo-ing under it…. 😛

Godzilla Roberts
Godzilla Roberts
4 years ago

The Incel community is a training ground for serial killers. I would put money on some being serial killers of the ‘traditional’ variety too — or working up to that point.

RosieLa
RosieLa
4 years ago

This was in a neighbourhood that I visit sometimes. I’m really numb partly because we have a huge MRA/incel/peterson-loving population here in Toronto and no one would listen when we keep saying that they’re quite dangerous.

Nightflyer
Nightflyer
4 years ago

I actually waded through a portion of Elliot Rodger’s manifesto and was struck by his basic theory:

In order to attract women, he needed to drive around in a hot car and flash around a lot of money. In order to have both, he needed to win the lottery. So he spent VAST sums of money on buying lottery tickets, with the usual results. Never got the car. Never got the big money.

For the money he spent on the California State Lottery, he could have set up a Match.Com account, and, given the fact that his father was a Hollywood person of importance (assistant director in the Star Wars series), probably found a girlfriend — and had money to spend on their dates.

The idiocy of his thinking is staggering. The results are horrifying.

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