Police are investigating Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's interactions with numerous individuals in the days leading up to the attack
(TORONTO) — A gunman who shot and killed a soldier at Canada’s national war memorial and then stormed Parliament before he was gunned down had prepared a video recording of himself that police say shows he was driven by ideological and political motives, police said Sunday.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said in a statement they have “persuasive evidence that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack was driven by ideological and political motives.”
A detailed analysis of the video was being conducted and Paulson said they cannot release the video at this time.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called Wednesday’s shooting a terror attack, and the bloodshed raised fears that Canada is suffering reprisals for joining the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria.
Police are investigating Zehaf-Bibeau’s interactions with numerous individuals in the days leading up to the attack and whether they could have contributed or facilitated it.
Paulson said a knife carried by Zehaf-Bibeau was taken from his aunt’s property in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, and they’re looking into how he got the rifle. Paulson called it an old, uncommon gun that police suspect he could have also hidden on the property.
Paulson said investigators also identified where he got his money for the car he bought and his pre-attack activities. He said Zehaf-Bibeau has been employed in the oil fields in Alberta, saved his money and had access to a considerable amount of funds.
“The RCMP is confident we will have an authoritative and detailed account of the shooting, including a complete reconstruction of the heroic actions of those involved, in the weeks to come,” said Paulson, who also said the Ontario Provincial Police will investigate the shooting inside Parliament.
Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot to death Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, who was assigned to the honor guard at the national war memorial. Zehaf-Bibeau was eventually gunned down inside Parliament by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers.
The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man described as an “ISIL-inspired terrorist” ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot to death by police. The man had been under surveillance by Canadian authorities, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey.
Unlike the attacker in the Quebec case, Zehaf-Bibeau was not being watched by authorities. But Paulson said last week Zehaf-Bibeau, whose father was from Libya, may have lashed out in frustration over delays in getting his passport. Paulson said his mother told police that her son had wanted to go Syria. Susan Bibeau later denied that in a letter published by Postmedia News, saying her son told her he wanted to go to Saudi Arabia where he could study the Qu’ran.