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The RCMP is monitoring 93 "high-risk travelers" who may pose an extremist threat but has not arrested any of them in the wake of two terrorist attacks this week. Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was not on the list of high-risk travelers, although he had recently tried to travel to Syria and allegedly had jihadist connections in Canada.
Prime Minister Harper called yesterday's shootings in Ottawa at the War Memorial and Parliament Hill a terrorist attack, and vowed to strengthen Canada's antiterrorism laws. The attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was shot dead by security officials after he had fatally shot a Canadian soldier and fired shots inside Parliament. It is still unclear whether Zehaf-Bibeau, who was said to be inspired by the Islamic State, acted alone. Canada raised its terrorist threat level from low to medium on Oct. 16 after deciding to join the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State, and security at military bases and other facilities has been increased following the two terrorist attacks this week.
Authorities placed parts of central Ottawa on lockdown after gunfire erupted at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill; a soldier was shot dead at the War Memorial. One gunman, Michael Joseph Hall a.k.a. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Muslim convert, was killed, and others are being sought. Officials have not yet disclosed the nature of the attack or the identity of the attackers. The FBI is assisting with the investigation of the shootings, which occurred two days after an Islamic State sympathizer ran down two Canadian soldiers in what the government called a "terrorist attack" in Quebec.
Martin Couture-Rouleau a.k.a. Ahmad Rouleau, a Muslim convert from a Montreal suburb, was shot and killed by police after running down two Canadian soldiers in the parking lot of a suburban mall. Described by the police as "radicalized," Rouleau had previously posted jihadist propaganda online.
The House of Commons authorized the deployment of Canadian troops to join the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq; Prime Minister Harper said Canadian troops will not be deployed on the ground. He also said Canada will join in coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria only if the Damascus government fully supported them. The 600-strong Canadian force will be based out of Kuwait. Canadian authorities are conducting 63 investigations on 90 current or would-be foreign fighters in Iraq or Syria. Intelligence chief Michel Coulombe has said that as many as 145 Canadians are involved with terrorist groups abroad and that some 80 foreign fighters linked to terrorist groups have returned to Canada. Coulombe also warned that Islamic State operatives with US or Australian passports could easily enter Canada.