Police have released a video made by the gunman who killed a Canadian solider and then tried to attack parliament. He said he was inspired to kill soldiers in "relatiation" for Canadian military actions abroad.
In a video recorded shortly before his death, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year old Canadian gunman who killed a soldier in Ottawa and then stormed Parliament last October, gave his motivation as Canada's military involvement in the Middle East.
"This is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq," Zehalf-Bibeau says in the video taken with his cell phone in his car just prior to the attacks, which was released by Canadian police on Friday.
"So we are retaliating, the Mujahedin of this world. Canada's officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us and creating a lot of terror in our countries and killing us and killing our innocents," the gunman continued, "So, just aiming to hit some soldiers just to show that you're not even safe in your own land, and you gotta be careful."
The video finished with a "thank you."
Gunman influenced by others
The attack began at Canada's war memorial, where Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was stationed as the honor guard there. Shortly thereafter, Zehaf-Bibeau was killed by the sergeant-at-arms in the House of Commons, steps away from where Canada's prime minister and members of parliament were meeting.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said on Friday that he believes that Zehaf-Bibeau was influenced by others in carrying out the attack, but the commissioner added that he wouldn't "characterize [that system of influence] as a network."
Paulson released several other details from the investigation. Although Zehaf-Bibeau was known to have struggled with crack addiction, Paulson said, the assailant was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the attack and that the evidence "does not speak to any mental health issues." Paulson also revealed that the gunman had toured parliament while posing as a tourist a few weeks before the incident.
Zehaf-Bibeau, who also held Libyan citizenship, had become increasingly aligned with terrorist ideology in the years leading up to the attack while living in British Columbia and Alberta.
A similar attack had occurred two days before the incident when a man described as an "Islamic State-inspired terrorist" ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other, before being shot dead by police. Unlike the attacker in that case, Zehaf-Bibeau was not being watched by the authorities.
es/gsw (AP, Reuters)