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Security tight in Canada as police probe Parliament gunman's ties

Canada attackers were recent converts to Islam

Ottawa shooting suspect taught two young men about Islam while living at homeless shelter, witnesses say

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.

Attack on Ottawa: What we know so far

Ottawa shooter has criminal record in Montreal

Canada prime minister calls shootings at Parliament, war memorial terrorism

Hit-and-Run That Killed Canadian Soldier Is Called Terrorist Attack

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.

Renewed war on terrorism brings new challenges to Canadian police

Canada police say they were tracking man who killed a soldier

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.

Who are the members of the coalition against ISIS?

FBI expects ISIS to retaliate for airstrikes

Who's who in coalition to defeat Islamic State

Canada to send military advisers to help Iraq counter ISIS

The Islamic State's global reach

Michel Coulombe, head of Canada's spy agency CSIS, recently stated that "well over 100 Canadians have left Canada to support or train with terrorist movements," and that some are women, and some are Canadian born. He said Canadians should not assume that a mass-casualty attack could not happen in Canada. Last month Hasibullah Yusufzai, 25, a former security guard at a Vancouver mall, was charged in absentia for traveling to Syria to fight for an Islamist group.

An Ontario Superior Court judge acquitted London, Ont. pathologist Khurram Sher of a terrorism charge after deciding that Sher had not shown the requisite intent to join a terrorist group. One of Sher's alleged co-conspirators, Misbahuddin Ahmed, was found guilty of terrorism charges in July; authorities have banned publication of the identity of the third alleged co-conspirator, said to be the ringleader. During a seven-month RCMP investigation, authorities intercepted thousands of communications between the three men showing their plan to raise money for jihad and make and use explosives in Canada; over 56 circuit boards for detonating remotely-controlled bombs were found at the home of one of the conspirators.