Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had his passport revoked by Canadian officials this summer after he tried to fly to Turkey and possibly join ISIS, and now months later authorities say the Islam convert brought the battle to Canada in an attack on Ottawa that left one dead.
Zehaf-Bibeau is suspected of opening fire in Canada’s capital on Wednesday, gunning down a soldier guarding the nation’s war memorial before moving to Parliament. There he opened fire again and was shot and killed by the Sergeant at Arms.
Both Canadian and American authorities are now learning information about suspected Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He was born in Canada in 1982 and had a history of drug arrests before converting to Islam. In July, Canadian officials intercepted him at an airport attempting to fly to Turkey, where it was believed he planned to join fighters from ISIS.
Though initial reports indicated there could be two or more gunmen in Ottawa, officials say they now believe Michael Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone.
In an address to the nation on Wednesday night, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to Zehaf-Bibeau as a terrorist and said the nation would not be intimidated.
“This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world,” the prime minister said. “We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governments are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all,” he said.
“But let there be no misunderstanding — we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.”
Harper also expressed condolences to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the soldier killed in the attack. Witnesses say he was shot in the back.
The attack in Ottawa took place one day after a man described as a radical Islamist ran down a Canadian soldier outside Montreal. Police said there was no immediate indication that Tuesday’s incident was related to the attack on Ottawa by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.