A video released to the public Friday shows that accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian admitted to being a "violent misogynist" whose radicalization was assisted via online discussions with others who subscribe to the same ideology, including 2014 University of California attacker Elliot Rodger and Umpqua Community College attacker Chris Harper-Mercer.
"I was thinking that I would inspire future masses to join me in my uprising as well," Minassian, who's accused of killing 10 pedestrians after driving a van into a crowd in Toronto, said in the video. Per The Guardian, the footage shows moments from a nearly four-hours-long interview that occurred shortly after his arrest last April.
Asked specifically about the death toll of his attack, Minassian said he felt he had "accomplished my mission." As for the exchanges he said he had with Rodger and Harper-Mercer, he said—per Vice—that he thought of Rodger as the "forefather" of incels and pointed to his 2014 attack as directly influential on his own. He and Rodger, he said, first spoke on Reddit before taking their discussions to 4chan. In the interview, Minassian also refers to the rental van he used in the attack as his "weapon."
Footage of the police interview, which some readers may find disturbing, was made available Friday following the lifting of a publication ban. Victims' families were shown the footage before it was made public.
In February 2020, Minassian will be tried on 10 charges of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.