Canadian Parliament Shooter Had Ideological Motive: RCMP

The Royal Canadian mounted Police said the gunman who shot and killed a soldier at the national War Memorial and then rampaged through Parliament had an ideological motive. RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Sunday Michael Zehaf-Bibeau made a video recording just prior to the attack, Postmedia News reported.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., quoting sources, said the video was made Tuesday and appeared to blame Canadian foreign policy as motivation for the attacks. He also praises Allah in the recording, the CBC said.

The statement came a day after Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother, Susan Bibeau, sent a letter to the newspaper group saying her son had no political agenda. She said his actions were “the last desperate act” of a mentally ill person.

“The RCMP is conducting a detailed analysis of the video for evidence and intelligence. You must understand that we cannot release this video at this time and I would ask for your patience in this regard,” Paulson said.

The RCMP earlier said Zehaf-Bibeau’s actions may have been triggered by his inability to obtain a passport.

Bibeau said her son was unhappy and “at odds with the world,” Postmedia News said. She said he had a severe drug addiction and had turned to Islam. His passport problems, she said, made him feel “cornered.” He had wanted to go to Saudi Arabia to study Islam, she said.

The National Post reported Saturday Zehaf-Bibeau had been reading jihadist posts online.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the attack terrorism.

Paulson said Zehaf-Bibeau had been working in the oil fields of Alberta and had accumulated a good sum of monay. Investigators were trying to determine how that money had been spent in the days leading up the the attacks, he said.

Emergency personnel held a disaster-response drill Sunday in downtown Toronto to hone reactions in the wake of Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack and hit-and-run attack on two soldiers Tuesday in Quebec. Reuters reported the drill had long been planned and was not prompted by last week’s incidents.

Canadian Parliament Shooter Had Ideological Motive: RCMP Workers take actors through decontamination equipment during a “mock crisis” response exercise in Toronto, Oct. 26, 2014.

Jolene Creighton

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