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Canada gunman had wanted a passport to go to Mideast
October 23, 2014 20:56 GMT
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) -- A picture is beginning to emerge of the man who launched a deadly attack yesterday in Canada's capital of Ottawa, killing a soldier who was standing guard at the nation's war memorial before then storming the Parliament building, where he was shot and killed.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (zeh-HAHF' bih-BOH') was a recent convert to Islam -- and a petty criminal with a long rap sheet, including a string of drug offenses.
In recent weeks, people who knew him say, he had been staying in a homeless shelter -- where he had talked about wanting to go to Libya to get away from drugs, but griped that he couldn't get a passport.
A man who often visited the homeless shelter says Zehaf-Bibeau's personality "changed completely" in the past few days -- and he figured that he must have been back on drugs.
Canadian authorities confirm that Zehaf-Bibeau had applied recently for a passport. They say they believe he had intended to go to Syria.
Earlier this week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said there are about 90 people in Canada who are suspected of intending to join extremists fighting abroad, or who have returned from that activity. But they say Zehaf-Bibeau wasn't among them.
In an email today to The Associated Press expressing horror and sadness at what happened, the gunman's mother said her son had seemed lost and "did not fit in," and that she hadn't seen him for more than five years before having lunch with him last week.
182-a-12-(Commissioner Bob Baulsen, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at news conference)-"national security-related criminality"-RCMP Commissioner Bob Baulsen says Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was on the radar screen for authorities. (23 Oct 2014)
<<CUT ..182 (10/23/14)>> 00:12 "national security-related criminality"
183-a-16-(Commissioner Bob Baulsen, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, at news conference)-"is currently investigating"-RCMP Commissioner Bob Baulsen says Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was not on a terror watch list. (23 Oct 2014)
<<CUT ..183 (10/23/14)>> 00:16 "is currently investigating"
APPHOTO JDT103: Ottawa Police officers comb the area in front of the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in Ottawa. Michael Zehaf Bibeau fatally shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on Wednesday, at the National War Memorial before setting his sights on Parliament Hill. Bibeau was killed just feet from where hundreds of MPs were meeting for their weekly caucus meetings. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Justin Tang) (23 Oct 2014)
<<APPHOTO JDT103 (10/23/14)>>
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