Anti-Islamic Bomb Hoax Apparently Not A White Supremacist Plot

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
Font Size:

After blaming what now appears to be an imaginary white supremacist organization claiming inspiration from President Donald Trump, Montreal police have arrested Hisham Saadi, 47, in connection with Wednesday’s bomb threat hoax at Concordia University, located in the center of Canada’s second-largest city.

A mysterious email, purportedly coming from the “Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4),” was sent to Canadian media outlets and had authorities combing the city for white supremacists and seeking an Islamophobia conspiracy after the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center suggested the group was a Canadian version of the U.S. Council of Conservative Citizens, a racist organization.

Sources told The Daily Caller that Montreal police made inquiries with Concordia’s Conservative Party campus club as to whether there were any extremists among the membership. The president of Concordia Conservatives, David Dunleavy, denied that report in an curt email Friday to The Daily Caller: “Thank you for your interest concerning the unfortunate events of March 1st at Concordia University. The Montreal Police simply did not do the below mentioned. We are glad to see the quick resolution of the events and the return to school for our students,” he wrote.

There is no evidence that the “C4” even exists; though the email, supposedly from the organization, even has a letterhead. The text of the message suggests, “Now that President Trump is in the office south of the border, things have changed.”

It continues, “We will not tolerate your behavior anymore. One of our members reported her concern to the [Concordia Student Union] — who didn’t do anything — about the Friday Prayers and the often anti-Christian and anti-Jewish speeches.”

Saadi appeared in court and has been ordered to undergo a psychological assessment.

The bomb threats closed three buildings on the downtown campus and students were evacuated. Police found no bombs after a thorough search.

According to a CBC report, Saadi is a Ph.D. student in economics at Concordia and is of Lebanese ethnicity. His religious affiliation, if any, was not stated.

The threats came in the middle of Concordia’s “Muslim Awareness Week” that was sponsored by local Muslim Student’s Association. No Islamophobia has been reported at the university; Muslim students actually have a prayer area located next to the school’s cafeteria.

Concordia spokesperson Chris Mota told The Montreal Gazette that no one has complained about the special status accorded Muslims at the university.

“We’ve never gotten any complaints, we’re not aware of any issues,” she said.

The prayer area, in the Hall Building is, actually managed by the Concordia Student Union. Mota did not attempt to explain why the student union is offering an exclusive religious zone to Muslim students but was apologetic that they couldn’t do more.

“The bottom line is we may have a large university but space is still at a premium and the CSU offered that space to the Muslim students for prayer and it happens to be next to the cafeteria,” she said.

“And you know what — that’s the way we live here, side by side, and it really isn’t an issue… If people are uncomfortable with something, they can come to us and we will react. It may not always be to their satisfaction, but we will respond,” Mota said.

Follow David on Twitter