|Cpl. Nathan Cirillo|
The media has been in a frenzy in the wake of yesterday's shootings in Ottawa, Canada that claimed the life of a member of the Canadian armed forces and saw a fire fight inside the Canadian Parliament. Initial reports indicate that the shooter was a recent convert to Islam and questions remain as to whether he acted alone. Some believe the attack may have been in retribution for Canada's recent decision to join the fight against ISIS. Personally, I cannot grasp the sick and demented mindset that causes one to embrace hate and extreme religious beliefs as justification for murder. The right in America will jump at the chances to again denigrate Islam, yet the same pundits and talking heads refuse to call out America's own religious extremists who are in many ways equally mentally disturbed, just not as violent - at least not yet. The Globe and Mail looks at what is known about the perpetrator of yesterday's attacks. By objective standards, the guy was a loser and perhaps typical of those who use religion to find something to feel good about themselves.. Here are details:
The attack on Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and the National War Memorial has left one Canadian soldier and one male suspect dead.
During an address to the nation, Prime Minster Stephen Harper said the incident in Ottawa was a 'terrorist' act. Mr. Harper also indicated that it remains unclear whether the man shot dead on Parliament Hill Wednesday acted alone.
Federal sources have identified the suspected shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a man in his early 30s who was known to Canadian authorities.
Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a “high-risk traveller” by the Canadian government and was unable to secure the appropriate travel documentation, thus blocking his attempt to travel abroad. The circumstances are similar to that surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car.
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.
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau has a record in Quebec in the early 2000s for petty crimes such as possession of drugs, credit-card forgery and robbery. He was also charged with robbery in 2011 in Vancouver.
The soldier who was killed was identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, according to his aunt. Cpl. Cirillo, who was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a regiment of Reserve Forces based in Hamilton, was training to join the Canada Border Services Agency, his aunt told The Globe and Mail.
Canadian Armed Forces personnel, at least in the Ottawa area, are being instructed not to wear their uniform in public unless on duty, a source said.