The situation in Canada is still developing and many reports regarding the violence in Canada are unconfirmed, but what is known is that at least one police officer was wounded when a shooter attacked him at the war memorial in Ottawa. What was described as a “lone gunman” then entered Canada’s parliament building where this person engaged in a firefight with police before he or she was incapacitated.
It seems that early reports which indicated the attack on parliament was the work of a “lone gunman” were inaccurate. At least one Canadian police official told an MSNBC anchor that multiple suspects were involved in the initial incident. He described the attackers as “numerous.”
Police sources later confirmed this source’s claim:
Police saying 3 separate shootings – one in parliament, one at war memorial, one at Rideau Centre mall, via CTV. (still in lockdown)
— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) October 22, 2014
— Dave Bradley (@dave_bradley) October 22, 2014
Speaking to MSNBC, Canadian Senator George Baker described what he believed were multiple attackers wearing all black with white bandannas across their face. “This was a concerted effort on the part of terrorists here in Canada,” he said.
Ed Morrissey has posted a video which emerged from the scene that purportedly features the exchange of gunfire between Canadian police and the gunman in the parliament building.
In response to this attack, Canadian officials closed all police and military bases across the country. In Ottawa, the American embassy has also been placed on lock down.
Earlier this month, Canadian authorities broke up what was described as an “ISIS-inspired” plot which would have targeted Canadians and Americans at shopping malls. The plot was described as similar to what occurred in Parliament; a low-technology assault using knives and guns.
In response to this uptick in threats and violence, Canada raised its terrorism alert. “This level means that intelligence has indicated that an individual or group within Canada or abroad has the intent and capability to commit an act of terrorism,” a Canadian official said.
This assault also comes in the wake of massive counterterrorism raids in Australia which were designed to intercept similarly ISIS-inspired low-tech attacks on civilians.
These attacks come just weeks after Islamic State militants urged Muslims worldwide to execute attacks just like these in response to the Western air campaign in Iraq and Syria by executing similar low-tech attacks.
It is too early to definitively suggest that this has been a terrorist attack, but this attack closely mirrors what public reports warned an ISIS-inspired attack would look like.
UPDATE: The honor guardsman who was shot this morning while standing watch over the Canadian war memorial in Ottawa has died, according to reports.
Police now believe that there was no shooting at the Rideau Centre mall. That shopping center has been removed from lock down and has now reopened.