Ottawa Attacker Applied to Renew Libyan Passport

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who carried out the shooting attack in Ottawa, applied to renew his Libyan passport but was denied.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

Scene of Ottawa shooting attack
Scene of Ottawa shooting attack

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the gunman behind Wednesday's shooting attack in the Canadian capital Ottawa, had applied to renew his Libyan passport but was denied, CBC News learned on Friday.

Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa Wednesday before attacking Parliament Hill.

Zehaf-Bibeau, whose father is Libyan, applied for the passport renewal on October 2 and was refused the same day, according to the CBC.

The gunman had received a Libyan passport in 2000 and then travelled to the country in 2007. That document had expired, and Zehaf-Bibeau told officials that he wanted a new passport so he could visit family and friends in Libya.

A Libyan official said Zehaf-Bibeau was polite but that his demeanor seemed off. They were also concerned that his photos didn't seem to match his appearance, or the photos of him in his Libyan documents.

Officials also questioned why Zehaf-Bibeau's old Libyan passport gave his first name as Abdul but his driver's license listed him as Michael.

Zehaf-Bibeau provided his mother's contact information, but there was no answer when officials called the number, and officials weren't satisfied with his answers when they questioned him about his parents' relationship, according to the CBC.

The embassy was also puzzled as to why Zehaf-Bibeau had travelled across the country to apply in person.

"Most Libyans who live outside Ottawa apply online," said chargé d'affaires Yousef Furgani.

Zehaf-Bibeau was warned the embassy would have to look into his background and that it would take at least three weeks to a month. At that point, Zehaf-Bibeau cancelled the application, according to the report.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Thursday that Zehaf-Bibeau was in the process of applying for a Canadian passport when he shot Cirillo and that he had been hoping to leave for Syria.

He revealed that it was Zehaf-Bibeau’s mother, Susan Bibeau, who told police on Wednesday that her son was looking to travel to Syria.

Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa came just two days after a 25-year-old who converted to Islam last year, rammed his car into two soldiers in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and was shot dead by police. One of the soldiers later died.

It also took place one day after Canada’s federal government raised its internal threat level, citing an increase in “general chatter from radical Islamist organizations” such as the Islamic State (ISIS).

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)