Canadian police just held a press conference to detail Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa. The police also showed several surveillance videos taken from various cameras that allow them to trace the shooter’s path around the city.
The details reveal that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the son of Canadian immigration bureau worker and a man who fought in Libya in 2011 (on which side he fought is unclear). Bibeau had converted to Islam about three years ago. He was also known to be in contact with a person who is currently on Canada’s terrorism watch list. Bibeau was not on a terrorism watch list himself, but was known to publicly espouse radical views.
He also reportedly had a couple of friends at the Ottawa mission he stayed at.
Another man, who said his initials were P.M., said Zehaf-Bibeau was close with two younger anglophone Caucasian men, roughly 20 years of age, who would speak with him often about Islam.
“There was three of them all the time going around with each other,” P.M said. “He was teaching them about Islam and stuff. He had them doing the Islamic prayer. They were in the hallways here doing it.”
All three men disappeared from the Mission on Wednesday morning shortly after a fire alarm was pulled just after 8 a.m., said P.M.
Police say that Bibeau had dual Canadian-Libyan citizenship. He traveled to Ottawa earlier in October to obtain a passport. He intended to use that passport to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. He bought the first car that he used in the attack on Tuesday. He abandoned that car and stole a second one, which he used to drive to the Centre Block, where he opened fire and was killed.
Bibeau had a long rap sheet and may have been mentally ill.