Terrorism, as understood in the literature of conflict studies, has five components. First, it is an act of violence; protesting or vandalism is not terrorism. Second, it is politically motivated; indiscriminate gang violence over turf is not terrorism. Third it is perpetrated against a general civilian target; targeting and killing six rival gang members is not terrorism. Fourth, it is for a public audience; stealthy poisoning a political adversary is not terrorism. Finally, it is perpetrated to inspire a general mood of fear amongst civilian populations.
Dylann Roof was, by definition, a domestic terrorist and was cut from the same cloth as Timothy McVeigh or Anders Breivik. I suspect, but facts will need to demonstrate, that Alexandre Bissonette will be the same brand of terrorist.
Interestingly, Infanteer, even though Dylan Roof specifically confessed to the fact that he wished, by his action, to trigger a race war in the USA, he has been prosecuted (yes Lightguns, the proper term is PROsecuted, not PERsecuted
) for hate crime, not terrorism. And this is the USA where they brandy "terrorism" about pretty easily.
In the present case, there is no indication that, even though Bissonette called the police to himself on purpose, he made any statement of a "political" nature. Personally, I think in the end it will be most likely found to be a hate crime: He just acted out his own warped hatred of people different than himself. Anyone found it funny that he called the police to himself but made no such political comment if "terrorism" was his aim?
Personally, I think that he expected to die as a result of his action, but the police didn't get there fast enough. He allegedly had time to shoot, exit to reload then go back in for second round and exit again to leave the place without the police getting there. I suspect that some of it has to do with delay in calling the police because it was so unexpected in a dorm town like the Ste-Foy suburb of Quebec City. In the US, everyone would immediately recognize shooting and cops would arrive very quickly. In Quebec City's suburb, most people's reaction was probably "What the hell is that noise?" and when called, the cops had to drive from reasonably far out (even though, in my days, the Ste-Foy cop shop was just down the road about 750 meters away. Don't know about what happened after the city mergers). I think this guy just acted on his hatred as a last act before suicide by police. When it didn't happen, he wanted to find a spot out of the way (near the Orleans Island bridge) to commit suicide but didn't have the guts to go through, so called the police in.