Ottawa Shooter Thought 'Devil Was After Him'

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was banned from traveling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2014 5:01 AM CDT
Updated Oct 23, 2014 7:59 AM CDT
A man places flowers at a memorial outside the gates of the John Weir Foote Armory, the home of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in Hamilton, Ontario, yesterday.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Lynett)
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(Newser) – The man who stunned Canada with an armed attack on Parliament yesterday was no stranger to Canadian authorities, who had reportedly designated him a high-risk traveler and either seized his passport or refused to issue him a new one. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, was the son of a Quebec businessman who apparently fought with rebels in Libya in 2011, according to the Globe and Mail. A friend who last saw Zehaf-Bibeau in a British Columbia mosque six weeks ago says he had spoken of going to the Middle East soon, supposedly only to study Islam. More:

  • The friend says Zehaf-Bibeau seemed disturbed and often spoke of the presence of demons in the world. "We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don't know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him," he says. "I think he must have been mentally ill."

  • Zehaf-Bibeau, who was shot dead inside Parliament, had a criminal record, including charges of drug possession and robbery, the CBC reports. He served 60 days in prison for drug possession in Quebec in 2004, and after being charged with robbery and uttering threats in BC in 2011, he served 67 days after pleading guilty to the latter charge.
  • Zehaf-Bibeau is far from the first home-grown terror suspect in Canada, but unlike most others, he doesn't appear to have had a significant Internet presence; no Twitter or Facebook accounts belonging to him have been found, reports the National Post.
  • Nathan Cirillo, the soldier Zehaf-Bibeau shot dead at point-blank range at Canada's National War Memorial, is being mourned as a compassionate man who loved being in the military, reports the Toronto Star. The 24-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, "was a great dad who always busted his ass for his lil man. Truly lost too soon," a friend wrote on a memorial page. Cirillo was shot as he stood next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier carrying a ceremonial rifle that wasn't loaded.

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