Ottawa, March 7: A Muslim convert who stormed Canada's parliament last October said he carried out the attack in retaliation for the West's military deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a video released on Friday.
Michael Zehal-Bibeau, who killed a ceremonial guard at Ottawa's war memorial before bursting into parliament where he was shot dead, made the video message on a phone found in his abandoned car. "This is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq," Zehaf-Bibeau says in the grainy video released by police.
"Canada's officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us and creating a lot of terror in our countries and killing us and killing our innocents," added the 32-year-old.
"We'll not cease until you guys decide to be a peaceful country and stay to your own and stop going to other countries and stop occupying and killing the righteous of us who are trying to bring back religious law in our countries." Zehaf-Bibeau, a petty criminal who later converted to Islam, was shot dead by parliamentary security and federal police in a hail of bullets.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson told a parliamentary committee the federal police edited out 18 seconds of the video before releasing it -- 13 at beginning and five at the end -- but did not explain what had been cut.
He later told reporters that releasing these bits could "harm" the RCMP's ongoing investigation.
Canada's officially become one of our enemies by fighting and bombing us: Bibeau
The committee is examining a proposed new anti-terror law written in response to Zehaf-Bibeau's attack and another on a Canadian soldier in rural Quebec the same week. It would provide sweeping new powers to Canada's spy agency.
Canada ended its 10-year military mission in Afghanistan last year. In November its war planes joined US-led airstrikes on Islamic State jihadists in Iraq.
Paulson also testified at the hearing that the RCMP continues to search for possible accomplices or others who may be involved in planning the attack.
"I'm persuaded that Zehaf-Bibeau didn't come to this act alone," he told the committee. "The RCMP believes, on the evidence, that Zehaf-Bibeau was a terrorist," he said. "Anyone who aided him, abetted him, counseled him, facilitated his crimes or conspired with him is also, in our view, a terrorist and, where the evidence exists, we will charge them with terrorist offences."
Paulson said more than 400 people have been interviewed so far as part of the investigation into the shooting rampage. While in Ottawa, Zehaf-Bibeau used public Internet and payphones to communicate with individuals in Ottawa and British Columbia province.