The shooter who rampaged through Canada’s parliament was in Ottawa applying for a passport to travel to war-torn Syria and there was no connection to an attack earlier this week, the federal police commissioner said Thursday.
The man’s killing of a soldier at a cenotaph in the city’s downtown and storming of nearby parliament Wednesday were not linked to the deadly attack on a soldier in Quebec two days earlier, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson told a news conference.
Investigators determined that the suspect in Wednesday’s shooting, identified by Paulson as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, had been in Ottawa since October 2 “to deal with a passport issue.”
“He was… hoping to leave for Syria,” the nation’s top cop said, adding that Zehaf-Bibeau’s travel plans were gleaned from the man’s estranged mother.
“There were concerns at the initial stage of the emergency response that there may have been more than one individual involved,” Paulson said.
But both the RCMP and Ottawa police agreed “that yesterday Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone,” he said.
It remains unclear whether Zehaf-Bibeau “received any support in the planning of his attack,” he added.
Police are also trying to piece together how he got his hands on a Winchester lever action shot gun, since he was restricted from owning any firearms due to past criminal convictions for drug possession and uttering threats in a mugging.
Paulson dismissed as a coincidence any link to the running over of two soldiers in a Quebec supermarket parking lot on Monday.
“We have no information linking the two attacks this week in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa,” Paulson said.
Futhermore, “our investigation has not revealed any link between Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture Rouleau,” he added.
Couture-Rouleau, the driver in the parking lot attack, was shot dead by police after crashing his car and brandishing a knife.
Couture-Rouleau had also sought to travel to Turkey to join the Islamic State group in neighboring Syria, but authorities seized his passport at the airport to prevent him from leaving.
Both the Monday and Wednesday attacks followed the deployment of Canadian fighter jets to join US-led airstrikes on the Islamic State in Iraq.
Japan’s Hirohito ‘prevented from voicing remorse over war’
Japan's wartime emperor Hirohito wanted to express his regret and remorse shortly after World War II but the prime minister at the time stopped him, local media reported Tuesday, citing newly disclosed documents.
The 18 notebooks, written by Michiji Tajima, a top official at the Imperial Household Agency, featured dialogue between him and Hirohito between 1949 and 1953.
According to the documents, the emperor said in 1952: "No matter what, I really think I need to include the word remorse" in his planned speech to mark Japan's regaining of its independence later that year.
Hong Kong leader hopes peaceful rally presages ‘return to calm’
Hong Kong's embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday said she hoped "calm" will prevail after a massive weekend march passed without clashes between police and demonstrators, but again refused to give ground to protester demands.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through the heart of the city on Sunday in a show of peaceful protest after escalating street battles with police drew stark warnings from Beijing and threatened to undermine public support.
"On Sunday, many Hong Kong residents participated in a rally at Victoria Park that was largely peaceful," Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a televised press conference.
US states ready antitrust probe of tech titans: report
Top prosecutors from a group of US states are readying a joint investigation into whether major technology firms have violated antitrust law, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The alliance of state attorneys general could formally announce next month that they are delving into whether leading internet firms and technology platforms have used their clout to thwart competition, the Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.
The US Department of Justice last month announced it is reviewing "whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers."