Last October, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and stormed Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. In a video made shortly before the attack but released to the public only last week, Zehaf-Bibeau says he is acting as a Muslim “in retaliation” for Canada’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan:
To those who are involved and listen to this movie, this is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because [Canadian Prime Minister] Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq. So we, the Mujahedin of this world, Canada’s officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us and creating a lot of terror in our countries and killing us and killing our innocents. So, just aiming to hit some soldiers just to show that you’re not even safe in your own land and you gotta be careful. So, may Allah accept from us. It’s a disgrace you guys have forgotten god and have you let every indecency and things running your land. We don’t, we don’t go for this. We are good people, righteous people, believers of god and believing his laws and his prophets, peace be upon them all. That’s my message to all of you and this, inshallah, will not cease until you guys decide to be a peaceful country and stay to your own and stop going to other countries and stop occupying and killing the righteous of us who are trying to bring back religious law in our countries. Thank you.
The day the attack took place, Reuters reported that Zehaf-Bibeau was a Muslim convert; however, some news outlets argued there was no connection between the murderous Zehaf-Bibeau’s actions and his professed Muslim beliefs. Vox was especially determined in this regard, suggesting Zehaf-Bibeau was merely a Quebec separatist.
Within a few days of the attack, RCMP’s Bob Paulson confirmed that Zehaf-Bibeau had made a video in which he explained his motives and that those motives included references to “his religion,” meaning Islam. Paulson characterized the attack as terrorism since the motive was clearly political.
In a letter sent to a Canadian newspaper, Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother claimed he may have been mentally ill. That claim was picked up by some Canadian politicians to once again claim that the attack was not necessarily terrorism. In a follow-up letter sent to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, Susan Bibeau reversed herself on the question of her son’s mental state saying, “I never intended to say that my son was crazy or did not know what he was doing. All I wanted to say is that drugs coloured his world in a ugly way….”
An autopsy confirmed that the Muslim shooter was not on drugs or alcohol at the time of the attack.