Calgary

Ottawa shooting: Mother of dead Canadian jihadi Damian Clairmont calls for action

A Calgary mother whose son died while fighting for militants in Syria says the government must do more about the threat posed by homegrown terrorists.

Christianne Boudreau says government must do more to prevent self-radicalized Canadians turning to terror

An RCMP intervention team secures an entrance to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

A Calgary mother whose son died while fighting for militants in Syria says the government must do more about the threat posed by homegrown terrorists in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly attack at the nation’s capital.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the shooter who fatally wounded a Canadian Forces member at the National War Memorial before being shot dead in Parliament's Centre Block was an "ISIL inspired terrorist."

Christianne Boudreau is the mother of Damian Clairmont, who changed his name to Mustafa al-Gharib and died last January while fighting alongside ISIS insurgents in Syria.

A picture of Chris Boudreau and her son, Damian Clairmont, taken in November 2011, which was one year before he left for Syria. (Chris Boudreau)

“We all have to say this is our problem as Canadians. It doesn't matter our background religion, culture, economic situation, family dynamics,” she said.

“It is our problem as Canadians and we have to do something for our country to rein it back in.”

Boudreau has started a program for the families of Canadians whose sons and daughters have become radicalized. She said her hope is that other mothers won't lose their children to extremism.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man believed to have fatally shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, before being shot dead in the Parliament buildings, had a criminal record in Quebec and British Columbia.

According to several media reports, authorities had taken away Zehaf-Bibeau’s passport, deeming him a high-risk traveller.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the suspected gunman in Wednesday's Ottawa shootings, had a criminal record in B.C. and Quebec. (Twitter)

But Boudreau says lifting someone's passport isn't enough to deter homegrown terrorism.

The government should enact laws that allow police to detain people who have become radicalized and pose a threat, she said.

"We need to change laws immediately so we can detain these people that are a threat.”

Martin Rouleau, the 25-year-old man who injured two soldiers, one fatally, in a hit and run and was later fatally shot by police in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., on Monday, was also known to federal authorities as someone who had been "radicalized.”

His passport was seized by authorities who feared he wanted to go overseas to fight with extremist groups.

 

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