May 29, 2015 / 8:10 PM / 5 years ago

Video shows Canada Parliament gunman praying before attack

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A gunman who fatally shot a soldier in Canada’s capital last October, and then stormed Parliament, prayed for guidance and cursed his foes, previously unreleased sections of a video he made before the attacks show.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau made the short video on his cell phone, sitting in a car, before launching his attacks in Ottawa on Oct. 22. The unedited video was released by police on Friday.

A Canadian convert to Islam, Zehaf-Bibeau died in a gun battle with police and security guards shortly after entering the Parliament building.

The majority of Zehaf-Bibeau’s video was released in March, except for about 18 seconds that had been held back for what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) called operational reasons.

The full video shows Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, beginning with a commonplace Muslim prayer.

“Lord open for me my chest, ease my task for me and remove the impediment from my speech,” he said in Arabic, according to the subtitles supplied by the RCMP.

“Lord accept from me and peace be upon you and upon the mujahedin. May Allah curse you,” he said at the end of the video.

The RCMP said it had believed the 18 seconds it had edited out of the video could assist in determining the origin of Zehaf-Bibeau’s radicalization. It said it also needed time to fully analyze the language used.

“This video is a stark reminder of the need to remain vigilant at home and abroad,” Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said in a statement.

In the previously released version of the video, Zehaf-Bibeau said his actions were in retaliation for Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“‎To those who are involved and listen to this movie, this is in retaliation for Afghanistan and because (Canadian Prime Minister Stephen) Harper wants to send his troops to Iraq,” he said in a calm voice in the video.

Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack in October came shortly after Canada decided to deploy forces against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Canada has since extended that mission by a year and expanded it to include air strikes in Syria.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway and Lisa Shumaker

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