POLITICS

Zehaf Bibeau Video Manifesto Should Not Be Used For Fearmongering, NDP Tells Tories

05/29/2015 01:52 EDT | Updated 05/29/2016 05:59 EDT
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OTTAWA - The previously secret portion of Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf Bibeau's video manifesto shows the gunman praying in Arabic, urging Allah to praise his actions and those of the mujahedeen.

The RCMP released another version of the video Friday, this one including 18 seconds of footage — 13 at the start, five at the end — that were removed from earlier publicly disclosed versions, ostensibly for security reasons.

In a statement that accompanied the video, police said they withheld the footage in order to take the time necessary to analyze the specific Arabic dialect in which Zehaf Bibeau spoke.

At the beginning of the video, the 32-year-old Zehaf Bibeau asks Allah to "open" his chest, "ease my task for me" and "remove the impediment from my speech."

In the final five seconds, he prays again to Allah and says, "May Allah curse you," a reference perhaps to his would-be targets or the authorities he expected to find the video.

Contrary to earlier reports, Zehaf Bibeau does not call on others to conduct similar attacks, nor does he recite any Arabic names other than Allah.

When he was done, Zehaf Bibeau flipped the phone around, turned off the video and drove to the National War Memorial, where he fatally shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He later died in a firefight with security forces on Parliament Hill.

Police said investigators originally believed these portions might explain how Zehaf Bibeau became radicalized. The Mounties said they needed time to analyze the language, talk to experts and follow up on "a number" of leads.

In their statement, the Mounties did not divulge the results of that work.

New Democrat defence critic Jack Harris said it was his hope the Conservative government wouldn't use the latest version of the video to ramp up public support for their controversial anti-terror legislation.

"I hope the prime minister and the government doesn't try to use this once again to frighten Canadians," Harris said. "They used that event (Oct. 22) to create Bill C-51, which I think most Canadians agree was overreaching."

As if on cue, however, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney issued a statement that did indeed link the video to the legislation, calling it a "stark reminder of the need to remain vigilant at home and abroad."

The release of the video comes days before the RCMP and the House of Commons prepare to make public an outside review of the security response on Parliament Hill on the day of the shooting. The Ontario Provincial Police were asked to conduct reviews of how the RCMP and House of Commons security handled having a shooter on Parliament Hill.

The House of Commons plans to release a redacted version of the report, eliminating portions it fears could compromise security.

Both reports are expected to be released late next week.

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