Canadian authorities have identified the shooter who killed a soldier in Ottawa Wednesday as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — a recent convert to Islam.
Zehaf-Bibeau shot a soldier, 24-year-old Corporal Nathan Cirillo, at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then entered the Canadian Parliament and fired several more rounds before the House of Commons Sergeant-At-Arms, Kevin Vickers, shot and killed him. (RELATED: Footage Of Shots Fired In Canadian Parliament [VIDEO])
The suspect was a Canadian citizen, born in 1982. The Globe and Mail reports that Canadian authorities recently designated Zehaf-Bibeau as a “high-risk traveler” and seized his passport. He was born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall, but changed his name recently when he converted to Islam.
He also reportedly has a criminal history of drug trafficking in Montreal and robbery in Vancouver, before his conversion.
The Canadian government said that it’s early in the investigation but they haven’t yet found ties to Islamic terorrism. Ottawa police spokesman Chuck Benoit told CBS that there may have been two or three gunmen involved in the incident, and there’s at least one other suspect still at large.
Others have connected the shooting to an attack on Monday when a radical Islamist killed a Canadian soldier with his car. The jihadist was killed by police shortly afterward.
Canada raised its national terrorism alert on Tuesday after the attack from “low” to “medium.”
Witnesses reported that the gunman was wearing an “Arabic style scarf, a kaffiyeh,” said freelance journalist Justin Ling, who was present at the shooting.
“Given the coordinated nature of the attack it seems to be obviously inspired by radical ideology,” Ling said Wednesday. “I know, for a fact, the security intelligence agency had been monitoring up to 90 individuals they believed were radicalized and capable of carrying out attacks. They told us that the man from Monday was one of those 90, I think it’s clear that however many there were today were on there too.”