Is ISIS Involved in Canadian Terrorism?
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, formerly Michael Joseph Hall (he changed his name after converting to Islam), shot a Canadian soldier who was guarding the National War memorial in Ottawa on October 22. The Sergeant at Arms shot him down soon afterwards. Despite rumors, there are no confirmed links between Zehaf-Bibeau and ISIS.
The man previously committed a few low-level offenses, and was considered a “high risk traveler” by the Canadian government before the shooting. A “high risk traveler” is someone who officials think might commit crimes out of the country, so their passports are taken away from them. Sources are not sure why the government gave Zehaf-Bibeau high risk traveler status. However, on October 8, one day after Canada joined in the air strike against ISIS in Iraq, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced an investigation of 63 national security cases connected to terrorism, which involved 90 people. The police in Ottawa remained alert for the rest of the day, even after Zehaf-Bibeau had been declared dead. The police originally believed there were at least two gunmen. However, later they discovered there was only one.
This attack was not the first of its kind in Canada since it became involved with the ISIS strike. In a parking lot in Quebec on Monday, October 20, a 25 year old Martin Rouleau ran over two Canadian soldiers, killing one of them. A chase with the police ensued, resulting in Rouleau’s death from a bullet wound. This happened not long after his passport had also been revoked. Rouleau was identified through his facebook page, which included a video with an ISIS logo. There haven’t been any links found between Zehaf-Bibeau and Rouleau. However, it is noted that he did make at least 4 visits to the U.S. before his passport was revoked. According to NBC News, Charles Bordeleau, the chief of the Ottawa Police Service, said there will be an increased presence in the downtown starting on October 23 because they want to reassure the people of their safety.