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Canadian Prime Minister Says Soldier's Killer Was Terrorist

RIA Novosti

16:03 23/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the gunman who killed a soldier guarding the National War Memorial a terrorist, and linked his actions to the murder of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent on Monday.

"For the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil," Harper said in an address to the nation on Wednesday evening. "This week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world," he added.

Just before 10am local time on Wednesday morning Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot dead as he guarded the war memorial in Ottawa. The gunman, who covered his face with a scarf, then ran to the Parliament, where he was shot dead by the sergeant-at-arms.

CBS News has been told by law enforcement sources that the suspect was a convert to Islam, who called himself Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau. The source added that the killer was born Michael Joseph Hall in Quebec in 1982, and before conversion to Islam had had a history of drug addiction.

Canadian CTV News reports that according to court records, Zehaf-Bibeau had "a string of convictions for petty crimes dating back to the early 2000s." A source also told the news channel that before the shooting he had been judged a "high-risk traveler" and had his passport seized by the federal government, although they were not able to say exactly when.

On Monday, 53-year-old Canadian soldier Patrice Vincent died when he and another colleague were hit by a car. The Canadian National Post reported that the driver, Martin Rouleau, had been sitting in the parking lot for over two hours, and quote a police spokesman as saying: "The working thesis is that it's a deliberate act."

At a press conference on Tuesday, Superintendent Martine Fontaine of the Canadian police told reporters that Rouleau had likewise been designated a high-risk traveler, although the force "did not have any indication, none whatsoever, of his intention to commit a crime in Canada," and that "If we did, we would have arrested him." Fontaine was arrested in July when he tried to leave the country and fly to Turkey, but was later freed as there was not enough evidence to charge him with an offence.

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