British Columbia

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave Burnaby, B.C., mosque

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa earlier this week, was asked to leave the B.C. mosque he attended and objected to its policy of allowing in non-Muslims, a B.C. Muslim Association spokesperson has said.

Ottawa gunman objected to Masjid al-Salaam and Education Centre in Burnaby, B.C., allowing in non-Muslims

RCMP held a joint conference with the B.C. Muslim Association to explain that the mosque is not to blame for Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's acts 2:30

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial earlier this week, was asked to leave the B.C. mosque he attended and objected to its policy of allowing in non-Muslims, a B.C. Muslim Association spokesperson has said.

Montreal-born Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, lived in B.C. in recent years and had a connection to the Masjid al-Salaam and Education Centre, a mosque in Burnaby, B.C..

A mug shot of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau taken by Vancouver police that was distributed to media on Friday by the RCMP. (Vancouver Police Department)

Speaking at a news conference on Friday morning, association spokesman Aasim Rashid denounced Wednesday's attack.

"These are acts of criminal violence and show utter disregard for human life and the laws of the world, as well as its religions," said Rashid.

"We openly condemn the propaganda of the lawless groups trying to incite Canadians to hurt other Canadians. Such propaganda is clear evidence that these groups are individuals, are sheer terrorists."

RCMP said that death threats directed at members of a Burnaby, B.C., mosque, have been sent since it became known that the Ottawa shooting gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, had some ties to the mosque. (CBC)

Rashid told reporters Zehaf-Bibeau had attended the mosque for three to four months in 2011 and described him as keeping largely to himself.

But, he said, Zehaf-Bibeau did object to the openness with which the mosque accepts non-Muslims.

"The mosque operates on a foundation of welcome, of community outreach and interfaith dialogue and that cannot take place when we close the doors on our neighbours.

"If he was not OK with that, he should probably choose another mosque to go to and pray."

Finally, Zehaf-Bibeau attempted to sleep at the mosque when he was released from prison in 2012, said Rashid, which led to him being asked to leave.

Zehaf-Bibeau was charged with robbery and uttering threats for an incident in Vancouver on Dec. 16, 2011, which court records indicate may have been an attempt to get help.

At Zehaf-Bibeau's bail hearing, he told the judge himself that he wanted to serve time. The judge agreed to detain him over Christmas.

RCMP asks for tips

The RCMP on Friday circulated a mug shot of Zehaf-Bibeau taken by Vancouver police and asked anyone with information about his movements from Oct. 2 onward to contact the security tip line at 1-800-420-5805 or

A cellphone photo of Zehaf-Bibeau taken through a car window and posted on Twitter. (Twitter)

New information also emerged about Zehaf-Bibeau's online presence. A data security expert who works for Public Safety Canada says there is online evidence that Zehaf-Bibeau was radicalized.

Rafal Rohozinski, the CEO of SecDev Group, told CBC News Online that evidence suggests Zehaf-Bibeau had Syrian connections.

"We have indications that he interacted with sites and individuals that have contact to Syria," Rohozinski said in an interview with CBC News on Friday. "We know that his principal channel to radicalization seems to have been with online content."

Rohozinski said SecDev has turned what material it has over to the relevant authorities.

As it happened: News conference at Masjid al-Salaam and Education Centre

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