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Thursday, 23 October 2014

‘I cry for the victim, not my son’

Supplied Editorial 24102014 MICHAEL ZEHAF-BIBEAU
In a tearful telephone call, Susan Bibeau said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.
“Can you ever explain something like this?” she said. “We are sorry.”
Canadian police said 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Cirillo, 24, at the national war memorial in Ottawa, before running to the nearby Parliament building where he was shot dead.
“If I’m crying it’s for the people,” Ms Bibeau said, struggling to hold back tears. “Not for my son.”

Ms Bibeau had earlier sent the AP a lengthy email expressing horror and sadness at what happened.
“I am mad at my son,” the email said, explaining that he seemed lost “and did not fit in.”
“I his mother spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that,” the email said. “So I have very little insight to offer.”
Supplied Editorial 24102014 MICHAEL ZEHAF-BIBEAU
Zehaf-Bibeau, a petty criminal with a long rap sheet, was shot dead by Parliament’s ceremonial Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers, bringing his violent rampage to an end.
MPs gave Mr Vickers, 58, a rousing standing ovation for saving their lives as parliament resumed on Thursday morning.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper described Zehaf-Bibeau’s rampage as a terrorist attack.
“In the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere in the world,” he said.
Mr Harper also urged members of Parliament to seek medical help if they are suffering stress from after the attack.
“Here we are in our seats, in our chamber in the very heart of our democracy, at work,” Mr Harper said. “We will not be intimated.”
Mr Harper noted that both of the terror attacks in Canada this week came from citizens born in Canada.
Both attacks stunned Canadians and raised concerns their country was being targeted for reprisals for joining the US-led air campaign against the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Paying respects ... Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen visit the Tomb of
Zehaf-Bibeau was born Michael Joseph Hall in Quebec in 1982 and was the son of Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairman of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board, and Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman. The couple divorced in 1999 when Zehaf-Bibeau was a teenager.
US officials said he had changed his name to Zehaf-Bibeau at some point, perhaps when he converted to Islam.
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CBC reports that Zehaf-Bibeau was charged with drug possession in Quebec in 2004. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Then, in 2011, he was charged with robbery and making threats in Vancouver. He was found guilty of only the second charge and sentenced to a day in jail.
Dave Bathurst, a friend of Zehaf-Bibeau, said the pair met at a mosque three years ago. Mr Bathurst told Globe and Mail that his friend had a dark side.
“We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don’t know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him,” he said. “I think he must have been mentally ill.”
Remembering Nathan Cirillo ... the Canadian flag flies at half staff on top of the Peace
Mr Bathurst said he saw Zehaf-Bibeau six weeks ago praying at a mosque and the man revealed that he wanted to return to Libya, where he spent some of his childhood, to study.
Zehaf-Bibeau was blocked from that trip because he was already on the radar of authorities who had taken his passport because they had learned he planned to go and fight overseas, according to US officials.
Mr Bathurst revealed that Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to no longer attend the mosque because of his “erratic” behaviour.


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