Oct 23, 2014
By Jane Brown
Life is far from normal in the nation’s capital after yesterday’s deadly shooting of an honour guard at the National War Memorial. The lockdown was lifted in and around Parliament Hill at 8:44 last night but close surveillance of the parliament buildings continues as Mounties sweep the area for evidence.
A fire alarm went off in the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings. Everyone was asked to leave the Parliament buildings this morning because of the fire alarm and there were a number of fire vehicles out front.
There is some good news. Ottawa’s Police Chief Charles Bordeleau has ruled out the possibility of a second shooter, saying “they’re satisfied that one individual was responsible for the shooting yesterday on the hill.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to address Parliament shortly after it resumes at 10 am. Canadians can expect him to offer more of the same reassurance and resolve that he did during last night’s televised address. Listen to Prime Minister Harper’s speech in its entirety here:
The gunman identified as 32 year old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was shot dead inside the Parliament buildings after he took the life of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the War Memorial.
Zehaf-Bibeau was a Canadian with a criminal record in both British Columbia and Quebec that dates back to 2001. A picture of a man with a rifle said to be of Zehaf-Bibeau was posted yesterday on an ISIS Twitter account, which was later suspended. His mother is said to be a senior official with the Immigration Refugee board. His father is a Libyan immigrant who ran a cafe in Montreal between 1994 and 2002. There’s a report the father fought with the rebels in Libya in 2011.
There are reports this morning Zehaf-Bibeau was on a terror watch list and had his passport confiscated to stop him from travelling to fight with Islamic State terrorists in Iraq or Syria. A friend of his in Vancouver says he frequently talked about the Arabic term for devils and demons and spoke about wanting to visit the Middle East soon.
The House of Commons’ Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers is being given credit for killing Zehaf-Bibeau. Vickers’ brother says there is little surprise that the sergeant-at-arms would intervene in the attack on Parliament Hill, after his exemplary record of 28 years in the RCMP. He says Kevin is “all about country and community and his service.”
The soldier shot and killed yesterday was a reservist who apparently was only on a short term posting at the National War Memorial. Corporal Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton served with the Hamilton based Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. His last online posting was on Monday; a photo showing him in his regimental kilt. His comment reads, “Just another day at work.”
Norman Inkster is a former RCMP Commissioner. He told CP24, yesterday’s attack is most certainly linked to Canada’s involvement in the war against Islamic State. “We know that Canada’s made a significant contribution to managing issues in the Middle East, contributed to American efforts and so on,” Inkster explained, “and as a consequence we’ve always been warned we’re going to pay a price for that. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make the contribution, but this is now payback time from the terrorists, I expect, and whether it’s well organized, well planned, it’s very difficult to say. And I think the challenge for the police is to deal with the here and now, bring it to a close, arrest the people responsible, and then find out what happened.”
Norman Inkster will be a guest on the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back from 11am-1pm today, as part of the show’s comprehensive follow up coverage to the attack on Ottawa.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird tweeted last night that he had spoken with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry and a link is being made to Canada’s involvement against Islamic State.
Prime Minister Harper has drawn a link between the brazen actions of Zehaf Bibeau yesterday, Monday’s deadly hit-and-run attack on a Quebec soldier, and terrorism.