Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Muslim convert accused of fatally shooting a Canadian soldier in broad daylight, was reportedly kicked out of the Vancouver mosque he attended for months over some of the radical views he expressed.
Zehaf-Bibeau attended the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque for three to four months in late 2011, and possibly early 2012, before he was told not to return by Muslim leaders, according to British Columbia Muslim Association spokesman Aasim Rashid. He apparently was upset by the mosque’s inclusive policies.
"The mosque administration sat him down and explained to him that this is how they run the mosque and that they will keep the doors open to all Muslims and non-Muslims who want to visit," Rashid said at a Friday news conference.
Though Zehaf-Bibeau was first advised to pray at a different mosque, he apparently stayed until he was ordered to leave when it was discovered he was sleeping in the mosque while dealing with legal problems. After being caught up to three times, he was reportedly told “not to come back.”
"This was the last interaction that the people of the mosque here have had with him," Rashid added.
Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot a soldier to death at Canada's national war memorial Wednesday, and was eventually gunned down inside Parliament by the sergeant-at-arms.
His specific motive remains unknown, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called the shooting a terror attack, and the bloodshed raised fears that Canada is suffering reprisals for joining the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria
Bruce Heyman, the American Ambassador to Canada, places flowers at a makeshift memorial to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo outside of The Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote Armoury in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. Cirillo was shot dead at the National War Memorial by Michael Zehaf Bibeau on Wednesday. Bibeau was killed in Parliament Hill, just feet from where hundreds of MPs were meeting for their weekly caucus meetings. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Peter Power)
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police released two photos of Zehaf-Bibeau on Friday evening in an effort to elicit information from the public. One is of the car he used in the attack and the other is mug shot taken by Vancouver police. Police say they are particularly interested in information from his time in Ottawa from Oct. 2.
The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man described as an "ISIL-inspired terrorist" ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot to death by police. The man had been under surveillance by Canadian authorities, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.