The Ottawa Citizen has published a detailed letter written by Susan Bibeau, following the recent release of cell phone video her son filmed shortly before he stormed Parliament Hill in October.
She writes that she's "saddened" by the video, in which Zehaf-Bibeau says his actions are in retaliation for Canada's military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Friday the evidence shows Zehaf-Bibeau was a terrorist, but the gunman's mother says defining her son's actions is not as important as understanding them.
Bibeau writes that drugs "coloured his world in an ugly way" and led him to cut himself off from family and friends, allowing his radicalism to grow.
She says she will live with her son's killing of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo for the rest of her life, and she feels responsibility in that she wasn't able to bring her son to happiness.
"While I hate what he did, I don't hate him. Hate is negative and destructive, part of what made Michael who he was," she writes.
Bibeau saw her 32-year-old son for the first time in years shortly before the attack. She writes that her son was "not crazy, but he was not well" and he believed she and his father were devils.
Above all, she says she fears her son succeeded, not only in taking a life but in spreading his message of hate.
"I am afraid that someone will want to be like him," she writes. "To them I would say, please stop and think of your family. It is easy to choose death, living is much harder, especially for those who are left to pick up the broken pieces."
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