Canadian police have released new videos showing the moments before the deadly attack on the country’s parliament in Ottawa, saying that the slain suspect is likely to have acted alone.
Authorities also said on Thursday that they believed 32-year old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was planning to travel to Syria.
The grainy surveillance camera video showed a man rushing out of a vehicle, brandishing a firearm, as several people in the nearby street scrambled for cover.
Earlier on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told parliament members that his government would speed up plans to bolster laws on “surveillance and arrest” following the attack.
Zehaf-Bibeau was shot dead after storming into the main parliament building shortly after killing Nathan Cirillo, a soldier guarding the nearby national war memorial.
Parliament opened with applause for the sergeant who shot Zehaf-Bibeau, and a moment’s silence for the dead soldier.
“The objective of these attacks was to instill fear and panic in our country,” Harper said. “Canadians will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant, but we will not run scared. We will be prudent but we will not panic.”
Mother ‘crying for victims’
According to family members and friends, the suspect’s past included robbery and drug offenses.
The mother of the attacker said she was crying for the victims of the shooting, not her son.
We also wish to apologise for all the pain, fright and chaos he created. We have no explanation to offer.
“Can you ever explain something like this?” Susan Bibeau said in an interview with the Associated Press. “We are sorry.”
“If I’m crying it’s for the people. Not for my son.”
“I am mad at my son,” she said in a separate email to the agency. “I, his mother, spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that,” the email said. “So I have very little insight to offer.”
She said that no words could express the sadness she and her husband were feeling over the death of the soldier
“We are so sad that a man lost his life. He … leaves behind a family that must feel nothing but pain and sorrow. We send our deepest condolences to them although words seem pretty useless. We are both crying for them.”
“We also wish to apologise for all the pain, fright and chaos he [Zehaf-Bibeau] created. We have no explanation to offer.”
The Ottawa attack came two days after another man, whom Harper described as an “ISIL-inspired terrorist” ran over two soldiers in a car park in Quebec, killing one and injuring another before being shot and killed by police.