OTTAWA—Canadians will soon have a fuller picture of the shocking Oct. 22 attack on Parliament as the RCMP prepares to release an outside review of its security response, and the final 18 seconds of video taped by gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shortly before his attack.
The Star has also learned that an independent review conducted by Ontario Provincial Police into actions inside Parliament will be released at the same time. Parliamentary officials are co-ordinating their release with the RCMP.
It is unlikely, however, that security video images recorded inside the Hall of Honour, where Zehaf-Bibeau was finally slain, will be released.
The two reports and the last seconds of Zehaf-Bibeau’s cellphone video will fill in many of the gaps in the story of a day that continues to have a powerful impact on legislators who are in the final stages of pushing tougher security measures through Parliament before a fall election is called.
In fact, CSIS director Michel Coulombe welcomed the new tools, warning a Senate committee Monday the terrorist threat from core Al Qaeda groups, as well as from its more violent offshoot ISIS, has continued to grow. He said although ISIS has lost territory where Kurdish and Iraqi forces have pushed back its advances, it continues to recruit westerners to its cause. For that reason, Coulombe said, the spy agency considers Canadian interests here and abroad are a prime target for would-be attackers.
Zehaf-Bibeau declared himself part of the mujahedeen out to retaliate for Canada’s military missions in Afghanistan and Iraq in his short video shot Oct. 22. Most of the killer’s cellphone recording — 55 seconds of it — was publicly screened March 6 before a Commons committee more than four months after he killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial and stormed Parliament, where he was killed a volley of gunfire.
At the time, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson withheld 15 seconds of video cut from the start and three from the end, citing “operational reasons” for the edits.
Assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud said in an interview he expects to release a redacted version of the OPP’s report into what happened outside Parliament on the grounds where the RCMP had sole responsibility for security, possibly by Wednesday.