While the mainstream media is running with the contention that he was mentally ill, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson is saying something very different: he was “radicalized,” had connections to at least one jihad terrorist, and wanted to travel to Syria. “Ottawa Gunman’s Actions Were ‘Linked To His Radicalization,’ Authorities Say,” by Eyder Peralta and Scott Neuman, NPR, October 23, 2014:
…During a briefing with reporters, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said while they still don’t know the full extent of Bibeau’s motivation, his actions were “linked to his radicalization.”
According to Paulson:
— There is no evidence that Bibeau was linked to Martin Rouleau-Couture, the newly radicalized man who ran over two Canadian soldiers on Monday.
— Bibeau was not on the list of 90 or so Canadians that authorities consider to be a risk and are monitoring for national security reasons.
— Bibeau’s email address, however, was found on the computer of a man, Paulson said, who was arrested on a terrorism charge.
— Talking to his mother, police learned that Bibeau had intentions to travel to Syria. He had applied for a passport and authorities were in the midst of investigating his application.
— Bibeau was a Canadian citizen and he may have also held Libyan citizenship.
NPR’s Jackie Northam reports that Zehaf-Bibeau has been described as “a fairly recent convert to Islam” who had a criminal record in multiple provinces. “He was also the son of a very senior official of Canada’s immigration department,” she says.
The Globe and Mail says he was “a labourer and small-time criminal — a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable.”
The newspaper reports: “Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999.”
The Globe and Mail quotes an acquaintance of Zehaf-Bibeau’s who said the alleged attacker had frequently spoken of the presence of devils or demons in the world and had recently expressed a desire to go back to Libya to study. He apparently had been blocked from getting a visa to Libya by Canadian authorities “who have been taking measures to prevent Canadians from joining extremists overseas,” the newspaper says.