President Donald Trump has issued a pointed statement on a suspected terrorist attack in Paris, France. While no one died in the incident, Trump urged the U.S. to become more aggressive against terrorism. Meanwhile, the president has yet to publicly comment on a mass shooting at a Canadian mosque that took six lives.
On Feb. 3, a man armed with a machete attacked and injured a soldier outside of the Louvre Museum in France. He was subsequently shot by security and is being treated for grievous injuries. French authorities have characterized the incident as an attempted terrorist attack, noting that the assailant had shouted "Allahu Akbar," Reuters reports.
Trump swiftly responded on social media while details were still emerging from the incident.
"A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris," Trump tweeted out. "Tourists were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S."
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The president's rapid response to the attack in France is in sharp contrast to his lack of public acknowledgment of a far-right terrorist attack against a mosque in Quebec.
On Jan. 29, 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire during a prayer gathering at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec, Canada. He killed six and injured 19 others. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the mass shooting a terrorist attack, NBC News reports.
"This was a group of innocents targeted from practicing their faith," Trudeau said. "Make no mistake: This was a terrorist attack."
Trump privately called Trudeau following the massacre to offer his condolences, according to USA Today.
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While the president has privately spoken with Trudeau, he has yet to offer any public comment on the mosque massacre. On Jan. 30, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that the incident justified Trump's recent executive order placing a temporary prohibition on the U.S. accepting refugees and a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.
"It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to our nation's safety and security," Spicer said, according to The Washington Post.
Bissonnette is a Caucasian French Canadian. Some of the shooting suspect's classmates have told the Canadian press that he harbored white nationalist views and was a Trump supporter, according to Salon.
"He has right-wing ... anti-immigration political ideas," said Jean-Michel Allard-Pru, who had attended Laval University with Bissonnette.
Eric Debroise, an acquaintance of Bissonnette, characterized the shooter as "very right-wing and ultra-nationalist white supremacist ... He really liked Trump and had a permanent grudge against the left."
Before Bissonnette was identified, many on social media had inaccurately speculated that the shooter was a Muslim. The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., even liked a tweet by a social media user named John Cardillo who asserted that the incident would be politically advantageous for the Trump administration, Raw Story reports.
"When it's revealed that the #QuebecShooting terrorists are Muslims, #Trump will have a tremendous spike in political capital," Cardillo tweeted out, his statement receiving a "like" from Trump Jr.