Counter-terrorism work has 'sidetracked' 300 RCMP criminal probes
RCMP head Bob Paulson says he hopes full, unedited Zehaf-Bibeau video will be released eventually
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson says he thinks the full, unedited version of Parliament Hill shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's self-filmed video will eventually be released.
In an interview airing Saturday morning on CBC Radio's The House, host Evan Solomon asked Paulson if 18 seconds from the beginning and end of the video made on the day of the shooting would one day be made public by police.
"I think so, eventually. I would like to think so," he said. "I can't give you a time estimate, I don't think anything is lost in terms of what Canadians are seeing from Zehaf-Bibeau."
- Hear more on CBC Radio's The House, Saturdays at 9 a.m.
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Paulson said the national police force made an operational decision to release the parts of the video where Zehaf-Bibeau mentions Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, but withhold parts that could have hurt the ongoing investigation.
"The balance we're trying to strike here is to give the information to the Canadian public and also preserve and protect the integrity of what is an active criminal investigation," he said.
Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial the morning of Oct. 22, 2014, then was shot and killed inside Parliament Hill's Centre Block minutes later.
More than 300 investigations 'sidelined'
Paulson also expanded on a few of the topics that came up during his appearance before the House of Commons public safety committee on Friday, including counter-terrorism operations and the squeeze on RCMP resources.
"We have over 600 officers reassigned to counter-terrorism, so that brings us up to 870 people [working on it]," he said.
"It's a question of priority setting, right now we're putting the priority on counter-terrorism … it's very labour intensive.
"So then the question is, at what cost? And the cost is these other [investigations] – I think we've sidelined about 321 significant criminal investigations outside counter-terrorism. That's going to have an effect after time."
He also said the RCMP's watchlist is growing, with people in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec who either want to go abroad for reasons that concern police, or have gone and come back.
To hear more about what Paulson has to say about the proposed anti-terrorism Bill C-51 and the different ways Canadians are radicalized, listen to The House Saturday at 9 a.m. (9:30 a.m. NT) on CBC Radio One or online.