Why is the media painting this psychopath as a “recent convert” to Islam?
Although Canadian police have not released the name of the Ottawa shooter, on Wednesday afternoon U.S. sources leaked that the suspect’s name is Michael Zehaf Bibeau, a 32-year-old Canadian who was a recent convert to Islam.
When you think “recent” is it perhaps earlier this year? In 2013? Is that still recent? In 2012? Does that count?
Well, let’s have a look:
The paper had previously reported that Zehaf-Bibeau had been designated by authorities as a “high-risk traveller” and was unable to secure documents necessary to go abroad. The friend, a fellow convert to Islam named David Bathurst, told the paper that Zehaf-Bibeau had told him six weeks ago that he wanted to travel to Libya, where he had previously spent time, to study Arabic and learn more about Islam. Bathurst told the paper he urged his friend to make certain that he would only travel to the Middle East to study and “nothing else.”
Zehaf-Bibeau may also have had a family connection to Libya. Official documents list Zehaf-Bibeau’s father as a man named Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman. The Globe and Mail cited this 2011 Washington Times report that quoted a Montreal man named as “Belgasem Zahef” who had taken part in the revolt against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. That man claimed that he had traveled from Canada to join the anti-Qaddafi rebels and had been detained for a month at an oil terminal, where he had witnessed scenes of torture.
Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother is Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. Zehaf and Bibeau divorced in 1999, according to the Globe and Mail.
Bathurst told the paper Zehaf-Bibeau had moved to British Columbia to find work as a miner and laborer before the two met in a suburban Vancouver mosque approximately three years ago. Bathurst said that his friend displayed signs of mental instability that attracted the attention of the mosque’s elders.
Seems to us three years ago is a bit more than recent, but maybe we’re looking too much into that angle. Curious, though, that his father apparently took up jihad in Libya in 2011, so the influence of Islam in his life may even predate that time. In fact, he certainly was in Vancouver back in 2011.
According to British Columbia Court records, a “Michael Joseph Paul Zehaf Bibeau” committed robbery in Vancouver on December 16, 2011, and also racked up a lesser charge of uttering threats.
As of Tuesday evening, Vancouver Police were working with Ottawa law enforcement to pass on information about the suspect’s time in B.C.
“The Vancouver Police Department, along with the BC RCMP, are working together to assist an Ottawa City Police and RCMP National Security investigation,” wrote Vancouver Police spokesman Randy Fincham late Wednesday afternoon. “Due to the ongoing investigation, there is little information we can share at this time,” he added.
Citing confidential sources, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that Mr. Bibeau was a “high-risk traveller” whose passport had been seized to prevent him from travelling abroad to join ISIS fighters in Iraq or Syria.
It would be interesting to know what this loser’s been doing since then. Meanwhile, the authorities in Canada need to take the threat seriously, as this should alarm everyone.
At the front of the room, likely sitting at his normal spot on a raised dais, was Harper.
Then, in the hallway outside, shots began ringing out in rapid succession. Five, then 10, then 20 or 30, some believe. Possibly more.
A gunman had entered the Centre Block just moments before, and had walked right by the door leading into the room containing Harper and his Conservatives. He was killed by security.
Following security protocol, Harper was quickly whisked from Parliament Hill to an undisclosed location.
Lord know how many people he could have killed if not for this hero.
To Canadians he is being hailed as a hero, a decorated police veteran and now Sergeant-at-Arms on Parliament Hill who, during a tense and tragic day in Ottawa, is being credited with killing the gunman run amok in the Parliament buildings.
“MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers who shot [an] attacker just outside the MPs’ caucus rooms,” tweeted Craig Scott, the NDP MP for Toronto-Danforth. “I am safe and profoundly grateful to Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers and our security forces for the selfless act of keeping us safe,” tweeted Julian Fantino, the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
While social media was buzzing with praise the phone lines in Miramichi, N.B., the 58-year-old Vickers’ hometown, were ringing nonstop. Several of Mr. Vickers’ cousins had gathered together to be close, and to be thankful that their relative was safe. But also to tell stories about the kid they used to play road hockey and cops and robbers with around the Vickers modest family home out on the Old King George Highway. It was practically a dead-end street. There were woods all around. There was Kevin, and his three younger brothers and an older sister, always heading outside, always ready to play.
We also need to say a prayer for the family and friends of the murdered Nathan Cirillo.
In these pictures, Cpl. Cirillo, who stood six-foot tall, also looked a typical infantryman, both tough as nails and endearingly tender, now rough-and-ready on one military exercise or another, now cradling the dogs he rescued and adored.
Robert (Doc) Fraser, the Argylls’ regimental historian, looked at some of those pictures with a lump in his throat. “I’ve seen my own son look like that,” he said, meaning how soldiers are after their work is done and, unshaven and exhausted, they drop the kit and just play, not so different from the pups Cpl. Cirillo adopted.
Mr. Fraser’s son is an Argyll too, who spent 11 months in Afghanistan, as did many members of the unit.
He told someone, who asked what it was like having his kid overseas in a place like Kandahar, “It was like trying to hold your breath for 11 months … And this poor kid [Cpl. Cirillo] goes off to Ottawa, to do something dignified and ceremonial, and gets shot in this mindless, stupid, violent, outrageous act.”
A victim of the new face of terror.
Finally, let’s hear it for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who paid tribute to Canada prior to the Flyers-Penguins Wednesday night:
— Jennie Kazepidis (@TwinkleToesJK) October 23, 2014