On the left, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and on the
right, the man he killed, Cpl Nathan Cirillo.
The shooting took place before Zehaf-Bibeau
entered the parliament buildings
A counterterrorism source tells Fox News that there was a spike in Islamic State-related online chatter focusing on Canada in the days leading up to the shooting Wednesday in the capital of Ottawa.
A gunman, later identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, stormed the Canadian Parliament complex on Wednesday, shooting a soldier at the War Memorial and spraying as many as 30 shots inside the government building.
The counterterrorism source said the increase in chatter leading up to the attack, focused on Canada's decision to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS -- including threats that the "day of reckoning" is coming.
Zehaf-Bibeau had a “very developed” criminality, but did not set off any alarm bells when it came to national security, the RCMP said Thursday. RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had a history of “violence, drugs and mental instability” before he killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and stormed inside Parliament’s Centre Block Wednesday.
He was a devoted Muslim and kept in touch with a group of Canadian Jihadists. Although police are now investigating Zehaf-Bibeau’s “radicalization process,” the 32-year-old was not on the list of so-called “high-risk travellers” being tracked by the government, Paulson said Thursday.
Zehaf-Bibeau had applied for a passport to travel to Syria but his application was under investigation and police were doing background checks, Paulson said.
“The RCMP did not possess information at that time that would reveal any national security related criminality,” Paulson said. Although it’s not exactly clear what motivated Wednesday’s attacks in Ottawa, Paulson said the “passport issue was central to what was driving” Zehaf-Bibeau.
When Zehaf-Bibeau initially applied for a passport, it seemed that he had wanted to travel to Libya, Paulson said. But his mother told investigators Wednesday that her son wanted to go to Syria.
Zehaf-Bibeau’s father is Libyan and his mother is Canadian. He may have had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship, Paulson said. The RCMP are also investigating how Zehaf-Bibeau obtained the rifle used in Wednesday’s shootings. He was legally prohibited from possessing firearms
The beige car Zehaf-Bibeau used on Wednesday was purchased the day before, Paulson said.
Paulson said the suspect had “intentions” for the car. “What those were, we aren’t sharing at the moment.”
His mother, Susan Bibeau has not appeared publicly since the attacks, but spoke briefly with The Associated Press by telephone Thursday. She said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.
"Can you ever explain something like this?" she said tearfully. "We are so sorry."
In an email to AP, Bibeau said she spoke with her son over lunch last week, but had not seen him for more than five years before that.
"So I have very little insight to offer,” she wrote.
In his 20s, Zehaf-Bibeau acquired a lengthy criminal record, with 12 convictions in Quebec between 2001 and 2011 for crimes including drug possession, impaired driving, weapons offences, assault causing bodily harm, theft, and possession of break-in tools.
The Canadian Press reports that, in Quebec criminal records, he appears under three names: Michael Bibeau, Michael Zehaf Bibeau and Michael Bibeau Zehaf.
Well now have our own home-grown terrorists, including the ISIS sympathizer who ran down two soldiers in Montreal a week or so ago. And lest we forget, ISIS did issue a threat of reprisal against Canada. It seems our own people are doing the job for them.