The Parliament Hill shooter in Canada has been identified as a Michael Zehaf-Bibeau
. There's a discrepancy regarding this man's name. Reuters:
Some U.S. government sources said the shooter was born Michael Joseph Hall but changed his name to Zehaf-Bibeau.
However, we read in The Globe and Mail
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. The two were divorced in 1999.
So he was born Zehaf-Bibeau. Where did the name "Michael Joseph Hall" come from?
There seems to be little or no trace of this young man on the internet, as either Hall or Zehaf-Bibeau.
At some point, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau traveled to British Columbia for as-yet unknown reasons, where he got into trouble with the law
. (He seems to have had fairly minor problems with the police throughout his life.) In BC, he was charged with a robbery but pled guilty to a lesser offense and served only one day.
It also appears that MZB spent time in Libya
, of all places...
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in Eastern Canada, including Ottawa and Montreal, and had spent time in Libya before moving to Western Canada to become a miner and labourer, according to friend Dave Bathurst.
His father, Belgasem Zahef, also went to Libya in 2011, around the time of Gaddafy's fall. Fascinatingly, the father was quoted by the conservative Washington Times
, in a story about the Libyan civil war published on August 20, 2011.
Zawiyah is the site of a key oil terminal that supplies the Libyan capital. Residents and rebels said the oil flow was shut off late last week.
Rebels succeeded in clearing the city of pro-Gadhafi snipers, some of whom had been holed up in a hospital in the southeastern part of the city. Most of the snipers were believed to be black African mercenaries loyal to the regime.
“There is a disaster in Zawiyah. All the buildings have been damaged; residents have been killed in their homes,” said Belgasem Zahef, a Zawiyah native who recently returned to his home in Montreal after spending over a month in detention. He was arrested in Zawiyah where he had gone to fight alongside the rebels.
Mr. Zahaf said the main prison in the city was overflowing with inmates who were forced to live in sub-human conditions and routinely tortured by their captors.
“In Tripoli people are scared because of NATO bombings,” said Mr. Zahef, who has been urging his family to leave the city. People are fleeing by using back lanes and farm roads, he added.
In sum: It would appear that the elder Zahef was raised in Libya, had family in Tripoli, moved to Montreal and married an immigration officer, whom he divorced in 1999. (There is a significant Libyan expat community in Canada.) This story
refers to Zehaf as a businessman who ran a Montreal establishment called Café Tripoli. In 2011, Zehaf returned to Libya to take part in the civil war.
Did he take his son with him? This story
(posted just a few minutes ago) indicates that MZB did indeed take part in the rebellion against Gaddafy. (Oddly, the same account repeats the "Michael Joseph Hall" claim.)
The robbery in British Columbia took place on December 16, 2011. The chronology allows for the possibility that MZB was in Libya earlier that year. (Gaddafy was killed in October.)
The above-cited Globe and Mail story claims that, during his stay in British Columbia, MZB showed signs of a psychological breakdown, perhaps related to his experiences in Libya.
He said his friend frequently talked about the presence of Shaytan in the world – an Arabic term for devils and demons. “I think he must have been mentally ill.”
Mr. Bathurst last saw Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau praying in a Vancouver-area mosque six weeks ago. He spoke of wanting to go to the Middle East soon.
Apparently, his passport was seized
. It seems fair to speculate as to whether his inability to travel led to his subsequent act of violence.
More than one witness described the shooter as "overweight." The images of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau available online do not depict a man with a notable weight problem.
Added note 2:
An alleged ISIS-linked Twitter account displayed a picture of MZB firing a rifle and dressed in a fashion similar to that reportedly worn by the Parliament Hill shooter. The word "convenient" comes to mind:
The image appeared just as MZB's name first appeared in news reports. The Twitter account was suspended an hour later.
Military Studies told Heavy.com that the same Twitter account was followed by Martin Couture-Rouleau. On October 20, Rouleau killed a Canadian soldier by hitting him with his car.
Added note 3:
The release of the name was strange. Look carefully...
CBS News quoted U.S. officials when reported Bibeau’s name. CNN and other outlets reported earlier that Canadian officials had shared the name with the FBI. According to the New York Times, the U.S. government has no record of Bibeau’s behavior.
So the NYT has access to all government files? Good to know! Actually, the NYT story at the other end of that link does not say what Heavy says it says.
It's certainly interesting that the Canadians shared the info with the Bureau, who told it to CBS, who told the world. You'd think
that the Canadian government would be allowed to make a decision of that sort.
Added Note 4:
What that above-linked NYT story does
say is noteworthy:
On Twitter, followers of the Islamic State praised the attack — and warned of more to follow.
In an audio message last month, the Islamic State’s spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, exhorted sympathizers to carry out revenge killings and included Canadians on the list of target nationalities.
Time to point out the obvious: From a practical and tactical point of view, ISIS has no reason to commit or to encourage such acts. ISIS-inspired violence in the US or Canada can have but one result: Granting Obama the political maneuvering room necessary to send American combat troops to Iraq and Syria. So why did al-Adnani make that statement? Why would he want ISIS to face American ground forces? Sure, ISIS is crazy -- but are they really that
Adnani's real name is Taha Subhi Falaha; he's from Syria. His September statement
was quite drole:
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be,” he said.
Here's the bit
“Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
that everyone seems to be ignoring:
However, it has not been verified yet if the recording is genuinely from the terrorist group.
I wonder why he chose the name "Adnani"? Was he hanging out with you-know-who in Monaco?