Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has addressed the country from an undisclosed location following the murder of a soldier yesterday.
“For the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on Canadian soil,” he said.
“Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl Nathan Cirillo who was murdered in cold blood as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s national war memorial.”
“That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.
“We pray for a speedy recovery for the others injured in these despicable attacks.”
Mr Harper also paid tribute to the people who tried to save the life of Cpl Cirillio, who was rushed to hospital in an ambulance but who died shortly afterwards.
The attack started when Zehaf-Bibeau emerged from a car just after 10am and opened fire on the ceremonial guard of Ottowa’s war memorial, across from the Parliament buildings. Whilst bystanders battled to save the life of Cpl Nathan Cirillo who was shot by the terrorist, Zehhaf-Bibeau made his way across the street to the Parliament buildings and past the armed guards where he reached the Hall of Honour.
He was shot by Kevin Vickers, the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, who served with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Mr Vicker’s swift action was credited with stopping any further potential loss of life: adjacent rooms to the hall were filled with MPs who were holding discussions on how to deal with home grown terrorism.
Mr Harper said that the attack on the two soldiers was an attack on the whole country.
“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personal and on our institutions of government are, by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values…as a free and democratic people.”
As he told listeners that the Country’s thoughts and prayers were with the family and friends of the two soldiers, “murdered in cold blood” he warned that the response from the country would not be timid.
“In the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had….but these events show that Canada is not immune to the kind of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.
“Let there be no misunderstanding: We will not be intimidated, Canada will never be intimidated.
But despite the strong words, which will be welcomed by countries who are currently engaged in direct combat with ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria, there will be questions asked about how these attacks came to happen.
Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper said authorities had recently designated him a “high-risk traveller”, meaning it was feared he would commit crimes abroad, and that his passport had been seized. A similar designation had been made for the perpetrator of Monday’s attack in Quebec, Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25.