Tags: michael zehaf bibeau | ottawa | shooter

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, Ottawa Shooter, Was a Recent Islamic Convert

By    |   Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 09:40 AM

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau has been identified as the Ottawa shooting suspect who killed a soldier at the National War Memorial and Parliament Wednesday before being fatally shot by Canadian police.

Const. Marc Soucy said Thursday morning that Zehaf-Bibeau is believed to have been the lone assailant in the attack, Canada's Chronicle Herald reported.

According to The Guardian U.K., he was born in Quebec on October 16, 1982, as Michael Joseph Hall. Susan Bibeau, his mother, is the deputy chair of the immigration committee at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. His adoptive father, Bulgasem Zehaf, is a Libyan businessman, former owner of a café, and appears to have fought in Libya in 2011. The couple divorced in 1999.

On Thursday, Susan Bibeau spoke briefly with reporters from The Associated Press, saying that she is crying for the victims, not her son.

"Can you ever explain something like this?" she said. "We are sorry."

Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in Laval, just north of Montreal, and attended private schools. Criminal records show that he has been convicted of many petty crimes, including drug charges for marijuana and PCP, as well as uttering threats.

Zehaf-Bibeau was a recent convert to Islam. He told his friends that he wanted to travel to Libya to study Arabic and learn more about Islam.

Dave Bathurst, a friend of the suspect, told the Globe and Mail that Zehaf-Bibeau once said that the "devil is after him," and frequently talked about "Shaytan" in the world, the Arabic term for devils and demons.

"I think he must have been mentally ill," said Bathurst.

At one point, the Canadian government confiscated his passport for fear he would travel overseas to join radical militants.

It remains unclear if there was any link between Zehaf-Bibeau and an assailant shot dead by Canadian police on Monday. Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old who converted to Islam last year, hit two soldiers with his car in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, killing one.

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Michael Zehaf-Bibeau has been identified as the Ottawa shooting suspect who killed a soldier at the National War Memorial and Parliament Wednesday before being fatally shot by Canadian police.
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2014-40-23
Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 09:40 AM
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