MONTREAL — A Montreal man allegedly behind a video that called for the revenge killing of “Arabs” in Quebec has been charged with inciting hatred, uttering death threats and being responsible for a hoax terrorist threat.
Jesse Pelletier, 24, was allegedly the author of a menacing video that surfaced over the weekend calling for the province to be “cleaned” of its “Arab” population. The person in the video suggested the recording was made “the day after the attacks in Paris.”
“Starting next week, there will be murders across Quebec,” said the man, who was dressed as the Joker character from the Batman series and waved a replica handgun in the video.
“We will eliminate one Arab each week to get rid of them and clean up the province of Quebec. We are a group of 10 people and we will all eliminate them, one by one.”
The short, provocative clip was removed from the web, but not before it began circulating and causing panic in Montreal’s Muslim community this week.
Pelletier appeared in Montreal court Wednesday afternoon in a wheelchair—the result of a congenital bone defect and a more recent accident—and wearing a white undershirt. He was arrested at 1 a.m. Wednesday at the home in Montreal’s north end that he shares with his wife and young son.
Officers seized a number of items from the residence, including the air pistol they believe the man in the video was seen waving. For that, Pelletier was charged with using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence. Police said it was not a real gun.
The police spokesperson could not say if investigators were able to substantiate the existence of a larger group of people committed to targeting Quebec Muslims.
But his lawyer, Audrey Amzallag, told reporters that Pelletier is mad at himself and scared at the proportions his case has taken on.
“I don’t think this is a person that deserves to be in jail. I understand these are very severe accusations but I do not think personally this is a person who should be in jail.”