OTTAWA — As calmly as Michael Zehaf Bibeau laid out the reasons for his fateful attack on Parliament Hill last October, he exhorted others to carry out similar attacks, say sources familiar with the unreleased portion of his final video manifesto.
((Note to Readers: please see Correction Note at end of story.))
The missing video segments also include Zehaf Bibeau mentioning a number of Middle Eastern names, none of which appear to be linked to the Oct. 22 shooting rampage, The Canadian Press has learned.
The details come from two sources who spoke to CP about the video, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the contents of the portions that have yet to be made public.
They say during the missing 18 seconds, the 32-year-old Zehaf Bibeau calls on others to carry out attacks against countries such as Canada.
The sources say those named in the video do not appear to have played a role in Zehaf Bibeau’s attack, but rather have general Arabic-sounding names. It’s not clear if investigators have been able to identify them.
Zehaf Bibeau recorded the video in his car moments before the deadly rampage, which claimed the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and ended his own in a hail of gunfire inside Centre Block.
RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson has said investigators had “sound operational” reasons for keeping the 18-second portion of the video secret when the other 55 seconds were released nearly three months ago.
The redacted portions included 13 seconds at the start of the video and five seconds at the end. The sources did not specify which portions contained what information.
As to why the RCMP withheld part of the video, the RCMP wanted to ensure there were no hidden messages contained in it, the sources said. Investigators pored over every frame of the video, which was found on Zehaf Bibeau’s cellphone inside the unlocked car he drove to Parliament Hill.
In the portion of the video Canadians have already seen, Zehaf Bibeau stares calmly into the camera. He talks in an even tone, his eyes darting around, as he sits in his car in a parking lot steps away from Ottawa police headquarters.
He says the actions he’s taking are a response to Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We are retaliating, the mujahedeen of this world,” Zehaf Bibeau says.
“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.
“So, just aiming to hit some soldiers just to show that you’re not even safe in your own land, and you gotta be careful.”
Paulson said earlier this week the RCMP would release the remaining video either this week or next, along with an Ontario Provincial Police report into the actions of the Mounties on Parliament Hill on the day of the shooting.
Next week, the House of Commons plans to release a similar review of how security personnel responded to Zehaf Bibeau once he managed to get inside the Centre Block with a loaded rifle.
Speaking to a Commons committee Thursday, Speaker Andrew Scheer said his office is finalizing what portions of the highly detailed report will be released.
“A report that includes names of security personnel, names of constables, where people were standing at what time, and where resources were deployed, some of that information would — it would not be appropriate to release that,” Scheer said.
“It would do far more damage to security than enhancements. So, we’re currently in the process of deciding the best way to make that public.”
Scheer told the committee the redacted version given to the public would be the same version provided to MPs.
The Commons is spending an extra $6.5 million this fiscal year to pay for those new security measures around Parliament Hill, Scheer said.
Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: Correction Note to readers: When the missing 18 seconds of the video was released the day after this story was published, it did not in fact contain Zehaf Bibeau exhorting others to carry out attacks similar to his nor did he mention a number of Middle East names.The previously secret portion of the video shows Zehaf Bibeau praying in Arabic, urging Allah to praise his actions and those of the mujahedeen. The sentence after paragraph 1 that points readers to this note has been added to the original story and the headline on the original story has been changed so it does not on its own mislead.