Reuters: Suspect in Ottawa attack identified, was a Canadian convert to Islam

That’s all Reuters has right now, apart from his name: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. One reporter notes, though, that that name appears several times in Montreal’s court database on drug charges. Martin Couture-Rouleau, the suspect in the other recent attack on Canadian soldiers and a convert to Islam himself, also lived in Quebec. Might be just a coincidence but the first thing police will be investigating is whether these two knew each other. The timing of the attacks suggests that there was some copycatting happening at least.

Another interesting detail: A Twitter account linked to ISIS apparently tweeted a photo this afternoon of a man whom they claimed is Zehaf-Bibeau, holding a gun with a keffiyeh covering his mouth. Where they got that photo is unclear. Could be they simply googled him, found a social media account somewhere, and lifted the pic. If not, if they had it archived for some reason, this investigation’s going to get much hotter. Oh, and according to, that same ISIS account was supposedly followed by Couture-Rouleau. Another coincidence?

The Canadian soldier who was murdered has also been identified as Nathan Cirillo, just 24 years old. In cold blood:

“I looked out the window and saw a shooter, a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth and something over his head as well, holding a rifle and shooting an honour guard in front of the Cenotaph point-blank, twice,” Zobl told CP.

“It looked like the honour guard was trying to reach for the barrel of the gun. The honour guard dropped to the ground and the shooter kind of raised his arms in triumph holding the rifle.”

Zehaf-Bibeau went from there to parliament, where he popped off between 30 and 50 rounds before finally being dropped by the sergeant-at-arms. Cirillo is survived by a young son.

Stand by for updates. Just as I’m writing this, CBS is reporting that Zehaf-Bibeau sometimes went by Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau. He was born in Canada, but that’s exactly the sort of threat counterterror specialists have been worried about lately — “lone wolves,” homegrown, eager to show solidarity with ISIS by springing surprise attacks without any coordination with anyone overseas. We’ll know in the next few days if Zehaf-Bibeau fits that M.O. or not.

Update: Via Ace, Canadian authorities had their eye on Zehaf-Bibeau:

Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a “high-risk traveller” by the Canadian government and that his passport had been seized – the same circumstances surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car.