Canadian police believe that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who was involved in a gunfight at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, had “ideological and political motives”.
Officials say that Zehaf-Bibeau, who shot dead a soldier in the attack, had made a video prior to the shooting, although details about its content have not been released.
“The RCMP has identified persuasive evidence that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack was driven by ideological and political motives,” said Bob Paulson, commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). “The RCMP is conducting a detailed analysis of the video for evidence and intelligence.”
Surveillance footage showing shooting suspect Michael Zehaf-Bibeau at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill (photo: RCMP/Reuters)
Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother said that her son was attempting to travel to Saudi Arabia where he intended to study Islam, but that his passport application was denied. She said that after that he was “unable to stay in the life he was in, unable to move on to the next one he wanted to go to”.
“He was mad and felt trapped so the only way out was death,” she said.
Police say that Zehaf-Bibeau had a criminal record for various crimes including drug possession, robbery, and assault, and that an investigation is underway into “numerous individuals” who may have had contact with the suspect in the days leading up to the attack.