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THE SITUATION ROOM
Canadian Terror Attack; Interview With New York Congressman Peter King; Source: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo is Soldier Killed in Attack; Officials: Gunman Likely Michael Zehaf-Bibeu
Aired October 22, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now. Breaking news.
Capital attack. A gunman storms the Canadian parliament with the prime minister inside. The building is still on lockdown right now, as police search for more suspects.
We've just learned the identity of the dead gunman.
Soldier killed. A member of the Canadian Armed Forces gunned down at the National War Memorial just moments before the attack on the Parliament.
U.S. on alert. The shootings prompt heightened security and extra precautions amid growing concern about a possible similar attack on American soil.
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: And we're following the breaking news, the deadly attack on the Canadian capital still unfolding right now, as authorities search for more suspects.
Shots rang out inside Parliament, where a gunman who officials now identify as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982, was shot and killed by the sergeant at arms of the Canadian Parliament. Sources tell CNN he's a recent convert to Islam and had a history of drug use.
Moments earlier, a Canadian soldier was shot at the nearby Canadian war memorial. He died, despite heroic efforts to save his life, all of this happening in Ottawa, just 45 miles or so from the U.S. border and putting U.S. agencies on heightened alert.
President Obama spoke about the attack just a little while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And it's, you know, very important, I think, for us to recognize that, when it comes to dealing with terrorist activity, that Canada and the United States has to be entirely in sync. We have in the past. I'm confident we will continue do so in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: We're covering the breaking news this hour with our correspondents and our guests all in key locations.
Let's begin with our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown.
Pamela, what's the latest? What are you hearing?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the man identified by Canadian officials to their American counterparts as the likely shooter is Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
The sources tell my colleagues Elise Labott and Jim Sciutto that he was a 32-year-old convert to Islam and had a history of drug use before he converted. As officials search Ottawa for more suspects tonight, they are investigating whether today's shootings are linked to terrorism.
BROWN (voice-over): Tonight, with members of Canada's Parliament still barricaded inside the main building, heavily armed police are going door-to-door throughout downtown Ottawa, searching for any other possible gunmen.
It began at 9:52 this morning. Police received calls of shots fired at Ottawa's National War Memorial. Witnesses say a gunman walks up to a soldier standing guard and shoots him before fleeing the scene. Moments later, gunfire erupts inside Canada's main Parliament building. Police officers fan out as lawmakers inside a caucus room try to protect themselves, piling up chairs in front of the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been told to keep all doors locked, lower blinds, stay away from windows, that there may still be a gunman on the streets outside.
BROWN: Inside Parliament as it all unfolds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appears that the gunfire broke out at in the foyer just at the entrance of that door and moved down the hallway to the north, towards the library of Parliament for a second round of gunfire just in front of the library of Parliament, and at that point I saw a body slump down. Obviously, I couldn't confirm, but it looked -- certainly looked lifeless.
BROWN: The sergeant at arms shoots and kills the gunman. Parliament Hill goes on lockdown. Two victims are rushed to the hospital. Panic ripples across the city of Ottawa, as reports spread that other gunmen might still be on the loose.
Heavily armed police escort people out of downtown buildings. Hours later, police confirm while there were shootings at the war memorial on Parliament Hill, there was no shooting downtown, but authorities are still asking people to stay away as they continue to investigate. Tonight, a Canadian law enforcement official tells CNN they are still
hunting for more potential suspects.
CHUCK BENOIT, OTTAWA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We have to apprehend and arrest the people that are involved in this morning's incident. And at this time, we don't have these people.
BROWN: Again, at this point, we only know the identity of one suspect, and that is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, one potential suspect, we should say.
But the search continues tonight for any other suspects. And authorities are also investigating whether there are any links between today's shootings and the hit-and-run death of a Canadian soldier by a radicalized man earlier this week -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, there's a lot of suspicion going on right now and a lot of precautions being taken, for good reason. Thanks very much, Pamela, for that.
We're also getting in some dramatic new audio of the attack on the Canadian Parliament. You will hear the gunshots. And Cormac MacSweeney, he is the Parliament Hill bureau chief for the City News there, he will join us in a moment. But first, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. There's a bunch of -- a bunch of gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A guy with a shotgun out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A guy with a shotgun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I saw him come in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do we go?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Cormac MacSweeney is joining us now on the phone. He's with City News.
Cormac, you were there. First of all, how does a guy with a shotgun simply walk into the Parliament building in Ottawa, even though there's a heightened state of alert that was announced by Canadian authorities last week?
CORMAC MACSWEENEY, CITY NEWS: The way Parliament Hill is set up, Wolf, is that there are main doors that people can walk up and staff can enter.
But it seems like what normally happens is that you have two guards on the front door. And they ask to see your I.D. You show them your parliamentary I.D., which shows you have gone through an RCMP background check to make sure that you're not a threat to national security in any way and that you work on the Hill. Then they let you in.
Most of the time, we got a lot of tourists who walk into that door and they're just simply turned away and told to go through the public access door, which has metal detectors and a lot of guards, as well as an X-ray machine.
But the staff entrance, which is the main entrance that a lot of Canadians know from a lot of footage of Parliament Hill, is right there, and apparently this gunman walked up and as he walked into the door, one of the guards was shot immediately in the leg.
Another guard, I'm told, the gunman turned towards him and he dove out of the door to get out of the way and luckily that quick action must have saved his life, because after that, the gunman started walking up the stairs. So the security on Parliament Hill when it comes to people walking in through those front doors, has always been kind of light.
I imagine after this, it's going to be much different on Parliament Hill.
BLITZER: So this dead gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, what you're saying is he walked through that doorway guns blazing and he started shooting right away. He wasn't waiting for anything.
So I was down by that door just like two minutes before he walked through. I had met a politician that I knew from a long time ago and I had a quick conversation with him, a casual conversation. And then he walked out those front doors. I walked back into the rotunda and sat down on a chair and I heard people screaming about 30 seconds later. I was on the phone with my editor at the time, and the people started running towards me, and that's when I heard the gunfire right away.
So somebody must have noticed that he had the gun before he actually walked through the doors. We started running down a hallway and the security guards who were outside of the caucus door, and one thing that was happening at the time was that all of our M.P.s from the government and the official opposition were having separate political strategy meetings, and they were just on the other side of the doors of the hallway that the gunman was walking down.
If he had taken a right-hand turn or a left-hand turn down that hallway and walked through one of those doors, this situation could have been a lot different. I ran downstairs, knowing that he was on the upstairs level, and I immediately saw a lot of security guards who didn't really know where the gunshots were coming from, because there's a lot of echoes that go through the hallways here.
I asked them where to send me, where it was safe to go. They couldn't quite tell, because they didn't know where the gunshots were coming from. As they were trying to move members of the public who were lined up downstairs to get ready to go on tours of the building, they were trying to get them to safety as well.
They just threw myself and a sound man from another television station, they shoved us into a security office, locked the door and we have been in lockdown ever since.
BLITZER: You're still in lockdown right now eight hours after the shooting? Is that right?
MACSWEENEY: That's correct. And we're not sure exactly how long this lockdown is going to last. There are a lot of people in these buildings that aren't allowed to leave until our national security force gives us the all-clear and they can get us out.
We could be here well into the evening. It's not too clear what exactly is going to happen in that regard. But we know they will probably want to talk to a lot of people that saw this happen. There were a lot of people working at the time, so I think we're going to say here for a little while, at the very least.
BLITZER: I suspect they're looking for other suspects or a suspect, or is there any indication they're looking for explosive devices or anything like that? Have you seen dogs sniffing around?
MACSWEENEY: I can tell you there's a heavy police presence, a lot of tac units here with automatic assault rifles and things like that, as well as police dogs.
They are doing a sweep of Parliament Hill to make sure that there isn't any other suspect who could be on the loose in the area. That's why they're not letting us leave and they still have us locked down us, because they're going over every inch of this building to make sure that we're kept safe.
And they don't want to let us out of here until they know that it's safe to send us on our way. So, at the moment, I don't know exactly what they're looking for. I don't know if there is another suspect. There were earlier reports that there were multiple gunmen. That was coming from authorities. Yet when they were asked about it a little bit later in a press conference, off Parliament Hill, at the RCMP headquarters, they wouldn't confirm or say anything about a second gunman.
So it's kind of unclear as to what's going on. The people here in the lockdown, we're not getting a lot of information. We're only getting what we can get when our reception is good enough to pick up what's on the news at the moment. We do have one TV set up with one television station. But a lot of people are crowded around that, as you can imagine, to try and get the latest on this.
BLITZER: The sergeant of arms of the Canadian Parliament, he was the hero, right?
MACSWEENEY: That's what I'm led to believe.
I was speaking with some guards about this, and they believe that the gunman may have had body armor on him. Of course, it hasn't been confirmed yet by officials, but that's what I was told, that he had body armor on. If you think about the distance it takes to walk from the front doors to where the gunman was shot in front of the Library of Parliament, that's a good, long stretch.
There were a lot of RCMP officers and House of Commons security officers who were there firing back at this man. Yet he was still able to walk that full distance before he was finally taken down by our sergeant in arms, his office not far from the Library of Parliament, just around the corner. And as I understand it, he was able to grab a pistol from his office and took the shot at the man.
BLITZER: Cormac, before I let you go, Did you see Michael Zehaf- Bibeau, the shooter? Did you see him before or after he was shot?
MACSWEENEY: I did not see him before or after he was shot.
I saw people running at me and I heard the gunshots. Whether he was in the crowd of the people coming towards me, I'm not sure, but I immediately turned and run, knowing exactly what was going on. I didn't turn back, because I wanted to get to safety right away to make sure that I wasn't in the line of fire, because he was heading right in that direction.
But they quickly threw us into a security office and told us to stay there and not move. And they locked the door behind us so that we weren't getting out. So myself and another audio technician with a television company, we didn't see the actual shooting of the suspect down at the end of the Library of Parliament, but of course that footage shot by a colleague of mine here on Parliament Hill, another reporter, that video that has been played many times on every station, you see everything that happened there.
It's such a tragic event and a horrifying event, one that will lead to a lot of questions about security here on Parliament Hill and in Canada for weeks, months, if not years ahead.
BLITZER: I suspect there will be metal detectors at that door where there weren't metal detectors before, other many other changes that are coming to Canada and Parliament where you are.
Cormac MacSweeney, we will stay in close touch with you. Obviously once you get freed over this, you're still on lockdown, let us know. We will talk to you again.
We have another member of the Canadian Parliament joining us now on the phone from Ottawa.
David McGuinty is joining us.
Mr. McGuinty, where are you now? Are you still among those parliamentarian in that building under lockdown?
DAVID MCGUINTY, CANADIAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER: I'm under lockdown, Wolf. I'm not in the same building. That's the Center Block. I'm in a neighboring building which is just over on the west side of the Center Block.
BLITZER: What is it like? Tell us what they're telling you.
MCGUINTY: What they told us several hours to obviously stay barricaded in our offices, keeping everything locked, to draw the blinds, pull down the shades and stay away from all windows and to stay tuned and stand by.
BLITZER: The suspicion, obviously, there could be another killer at large, right?
MCGUINTY: That's what we're hearing.
We're really not getting information other than what we're getting through reliable media sources. But I'm in a situation where I happen to represent an electoral district right here in the city of Ottawa, Wolf, so many of my constituents, in fact thousands of them are also being held in an area in the downtown core where they also are not able to leave their offices, public servants, for example, small business owners, and beyond.
So we have a lot of folks right now on a hold pattern.
BLITZER: Including that downtown area, where that shopping mall is, is that a lockdown area as well?
MCGUINTY: That's my understanding, not far from there at all. It captures quite a wide swathe of buildings and office towers in the downtown core, as well as the whole parliamentary precinct, our whole Parliament Hill area.
BLITZER: Mr. McGuinty, where were you when this shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, operated inside the Parliament?
MCGUINTY: I left my home. As I say, my district is in Ottawa, so I was leaving my -- left my home to drive to join my party.
We have our weekly caucus meeting on Wednesday mornings. All parties break into their separate rooms. As I was driving up towards the Parliament buildings on the street that fronts the Parliament buildings, which is called Wellington Street, I was in one of the far lanes and I actually came upon a vehicle that was stopped.
It looked like a Toyota, beige color. It struck me because I have been concerned about vehicles stopping on Wellington Street, but this was at a dead stop. There were no lights flashing, there was nobody around the vehicle. It's not as if the hood of the car was up. It was just simply there and it really concerned me. I drove around it and changed lanes and I looked at the vehicle and I
noticed when I looked at it there were no license plates on the vehicle. So I was even more disturbed. So, I continued on my way and was within 10 seconds then cut off by RCMP vehicles that were racing up towards the Parliament buildings to attend to the event.
BLITZER: Did you see anybody in that vehicle?
MCGUINTY: I did not. I'm quite sure I saw the windows down in the vehicle. There was no one in it. I noticed there was no plates and I noticed it was an older vehicle, simply a complete and a dead spot. Extremely unusual to see a vehicle like that.
BLITZER: You're a member of Parliament. You know last week Canada raised its threat level because presumably of what they call shatter, concern out there after Canada said it was joining the United States in these airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. Have you noticed in the past week any heightened security up there on Parliament Hill?
MCGUINTY: Not that I can point to.
I wouldn't know about those kinds of details, Wolf. But I have confidence in our House of Commons security force and our RCMP and our local Ottawa police force. I know they have been working together for years in anticipation of this kind of a terrible event.
BLITZER: David McGuinty is the Canadian member of Parliament.
Mr. McGuinty, thanks very much for joining us. Good luck to you. You're still under lockdown eight hours after this shooting in Parliament.
BLITZER: Let's get some more now on the breaking news.
Joining us Republican congressman Peter King of New York. He's a key member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
I assume you're being briefed, Congressman. What are you hearing about what happened?
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Wolf, I have not received any official briefing, but I have been in touch, in contact with sources in the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
And, basically, it's as you have reported it. I do know that as of several hours ago, I was talking to several people in law enforcement who felt that this did have connections to Islamist terrorism, whether it was a lone wolf or not. But again this was not definite.
This was just -- they were putting different facts together and that was their assessment. But they were not ruling anything else out, but that certainly was the direction they were going in. Now, of course, the report, if true that he was a Muslim convert would add to that. It's not definitive, but it would certainly add to that. BLITZER: Because the individual who killed that soldier on Monday driving over him in a vehicle also a convert to Islam. The spokesman for ISIS who made that threat last week, this individual named Abu Khalid al-Kanadi, the Canadian, as he's called, also a convert to Islam.
Three Canadians right now. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32 years old, a Canadian citizen, drug user, history of drug use, a covert to Islam, he's dead now. He is the one who went into that Parliament building and started shooting up. We don't know if this is the individual who shot the individual at the war memorial, but that lockdown continues right now.
They are clearly, Congressman King, they're clearly looking for at least one other person and maybe more.
KING: Also, Wolf, I think what they are even more concerned about is whether or not this is part of a wider-ranging plot, because there has been so much chatter and news over the last week about the increased threat in Canada, the call by ISIS to attack ceremonial locations, to attack the military and their families, which also includes the United States.
They want to make sure this is not part of a larger plot. It's bad enough as it is, but they want to rule out anything else, which is why we have also seen the reports during the day of increased security at certain American locations. Once something like this happens, you have to go really on more of an alert than usual even.
When you have all the chatter in the background, you have the recent reports, you have the threat elevation in candidate, you have the killing of -- the murder the other day of the Canadian soldier, you have the incidents today, so both U.S. and Canada are being very careful to make sure that this does not go beyond between either these one or two individuals or in Ottawa today.
BLITZER: We got more to talk about with you, Congressman King.
Please stay with us. I want to get more of the breaking news. But let's take a quick break. We will be right back.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news.
Canadian officials now identifying the suspected gunman who attacked the Parliament in Ottawa today, the suspect, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. Sources telling CNN he's a recent convert to Islam and before converting to Islam, he had a history of drug use, that according to authorities.
He was shot and killed by the sergeant at arms of the Canadian Parliament, but police so far they say they are still looking for additional suspects. That's why the lockdown in the Canadian Parliament continues now more than eight hours after the shooting incident. We're back with Republican Congressman Peter King of New York. He's a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, as well as the Intelligence Committee.
In April 2013, Congressman King, Canadian police thwarted an al Qaeda terror plot, planning to blow up a passenger train connecting Toronto and New York. What does this feel like to you, what's going on in Canada right now?
KING: Yes, Wolf, we have been through -- if this was an Islamist attack today, we have been through this before.
There was the attempt you mentioned about the train going to Buffalo from Canada. Also, several years ago, going back seven or eight years ago, when I was first chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, there was a plot uncovered in the United States which was going to involve an attack on the Canadian Parliament and actual beheadings of Canadian officials.
Canada has been -- they have been a target now for quite a while. Let me just say that they are tremendous allies in the war on terrorism. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the RCMP, they are phenomenal to work in. And there's just a tremendous amount of intelligence sharing between us and the Canadians.
So, really, so our hearts go out to them today, but also our full cooperation. I can guarantee you the full cooperation of the American government is going to be given to the Canadians, because they have always been there for us.
BLITZER: As you know, Ottawa, what, it's only about an hour or so away from your home state of New York, my home state of New York, home state of New York.
BLITZER: The U.S. already taking some precautionary measures, even in the aftermath of what's been going on in Canada over the past few days.
What is your assessment right now? How concerned should U.S. authorities be?
KING: Wolf, you have to be concerned.
I'm not giving panic here, because it may not turn out this was not an Islamist attack. But I believe certainly the evidence is going in that direction. And we have to realize that the U.S. and Canada are looked upon as common enemies by ISIS. Canada is joining us in the war against ISIS.
As you say, we are adjoining countries. We have a very close relationship, same forms of government, and we are so close. Our border is -- as you know, the Buffalo-Canadian border, it is right there. It's so easy to go back and forth. We have very close relationships. Hockey teams up there playing all the time. People traveling back and forth, Niagara Falls.
So, anyway, no, I would say the Americans -- also not just as far as New York and Canada, but also, again, if Ottawa was attacked, we have to be concerned about Washington. That's why you saw the increase today in the security at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We have to -- all these things we're anticipating. That's what a lot of people don't realize, that, 24/7, our intelligence and law enforcement people are on guard, constantly analyzing plots and potential plots. Many of them turn out to be nothing, but others turn out to be something pretty bad. And that's what we have to be on the lookout for now.
BLITZER: Yes, this looks pretty serious what's going on in Canada right now.
Congressman King, thanks very much for joining us.
KING: Wolf, thank you. I really appreciate it.
BLITZER: All right, let's continue the breaking news.
Joining us now, CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. He's a former CIA operative. Also joining us, our global affairs analyst, retired Lieutenant Colonel James Reese, CNN military analyst retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, and CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes, a former assistant director of the FBI.
General Hertling, while officials hasn't necessarily confirmed companies, we're hearing more and more about this shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, this 32-year-old Canadian man, a recent convert to Islam.
We have no idea whether he was operating alone, under some sort of guidance, some sort of inspiration from any of these jihadi groups, ISIS or maybe some other groups, but that is obviously the concern.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It seems to be, Wolf.
And I think what you have, whether you connect it to a cell in Canada, whether you connect it to someplace overseas, you have a wannabe. This is a guy might not be able to get out of Canada, but he sees that he can cause some damage there. So, he has done that.
And I think to comment on what Congressman King just said, we have to be concerned with this kind of action in more than just Canada and the United States. This is all of the West. This is going to be in Europe. This is going to be in any country that says, hey, we have got to fight this kind of global terrorism.
BLITZER: It looks like there's a pattern, Colonel Reese, that is going on right now. A soldier was killed on Monday, run down by a vehicle. Apparently, there was another effort. Two Canadian soldiers were chased in a parking lot at a shopping center. They got away. They're apparently all right. Canada raises its threat level. There's a warning from this Canadian ISIS spokesman, if you will, the -- telling Muslims in Canada go after these infidels, go after these targets. It's raising all sorts of concern out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is, Wolf. And, you know, I will tell you, it's something that we have to look for in the United States. We might be next. We're right there.
You look at -- you know, we've seen the radicalized girls from Colorado. We've seen the people from the west, the U.S. and Canada, start to move, try to get in. They've been captured in Germany, taken up in Turkey. It's starting to come together. ISIS's P.R. -- the P.R. model they have out there is really pushing -- pushing us to the limits.
BLITZER: We're told, by the way, that the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, will address the nation. Indeed, he'll be addressing the world. We'll have live coverage at the top of the hour, 7 p.m. Eastern. We're going to hear from the prime minister, Stephen Harper.
He was in the Parliament building when that shooting took place. He was not that far away from the shooting. He's OK. Other members of the Parliament there are OK. But Stephen Harper, who has not yet spoken publicly since the shooting eight and a half hours ago, he will be making a statement to the Canadian people right at the top of the hour. You'll, of course, stay with us here on CNN for live coverage.
Philip Mudd, the FBI has asked all of its field offices to raise their own threat alert posture, if you will, after these attacks in Canada. Given the recent bulletin asking military, law enforcement authorities around the country to stay vigilant, it's being done not only because of the attacks but what's being described as very ominous chatter that the U.S. is picking up. Explain what that means.
PHILIP MUDD, ANALYST: Boy, this is one of the most frustrating things I've dealt with in the intelligence world at the CIA and FBI when I was in the business, Wolf. And that is you're looking at intelligence targets in places like Syria and Iraq. You don't have good enough penetration to be into their command and control, but you might have, for example, peripheral communications. When people say something like, "The big one is coming" or "We have people there."
This happened to me all the time in the business with al Qaeda. And you would look at a communication like that, or maybe a fragment from an informant who was on the periphery of a cell, and you've got to look at something like that and say they're warning us, almost signaling us that something is happening. And I just can't put my finger on it, but it's ominous enough to go out and warn field offices, "Keep your heads up."
BLITZER: All right. Everybody stand by. We're going to take another quick break. A lot more on the breaking news. We're standing by to hear from the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, his first public statement since the shocking shooting earlier today at the Parliament and the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: We're following breaking news. I want to immediately go to Ottawa. Susan Candiotti on the ground for us right now. Susan, you're there, set the scene.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been just over eight hours since the shooting occurred, and we're just a couple of blocks away from where it all began. The War Memorial where a soldier was shot and killed by a gunman. And that gunman then went down to the Parliament building, which is just beyond me about two blocks away, as well.
Some of the streets are now starting to see traffic flow again, but the streets surrounding the Parliament complex, as you can imagine, and the prime minister's office are also -- remain closed. The traffic is flowing a bit.
To recap now, we have the name of the suspected shooter, according to our sources. It is Michael Zehaf -- and Canadian authorities -- Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who is in his 30s, born in Canada in 1982. Our sources tell us he had a prior history of using drugs and was a convert to Islam. The CBC also reporting that he had a long prior history of drug arrests.
Of course, the FBI is now assisting Canadian authorities at this time to track his history, to look for any footprint he might have had to see whether he was a lone wolf or was working with ISIS and had some training and direction. Still important details we're trying to find out.
Additionally, three other people were injured and are hospitalized at this time, Wolf. One of them suffering gunshot wounds, and they haven't described what the other wounds are, other than not being gunshot wounds.
So at this time, there is shock. Some are talking about a loss of innocence in Ottawa here. And of course, all of this comes on the heels of another event where a soldier was killed in a -- when he was struck by a car. That person -- happened on Monday of this week -- Wolf.
BLITZER: That person was a radicalized Muslim, as well. A convert, which raises a lot of suspicion. Susan Candiotti is on the scene for us in Ottawa right now.
Tom Fuentes, you're a former FBI assistant director. What can the -- this is a Canadian citizen, the suspect in this case, Michael Zehaf- Bibeau. What can the FBI do that Canadian authorities can't do?
CANDIOTTI: Well, it's not that they can't do it. It's that the FBI will be looking at friends, relatives, contacts, colleagues in the United States. Did he come to the United States? Has he shared any information with others here in the U.S. about wanting to commit an act of jihad or take on this operation? And possibly, does he have a partner that could be in this country, preparing a similar attack and maybe they intended for both attacks to occur together?
BLITZER: Colonel Reese, there's a difference between someone who was inspired, shall we say, by a jihadist group -- ISIS and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or Khorasan or any of these other groups -- opposed to someone who was receiving direct instructions and trained by these groups? And we have no clue if either was involved in this particular case, but those are the suspicions; those are the fears.
REESE: Wolf, you're right. I mean, there's nothing we know positive right now, but my guess will be, is that this guy -- he converted; he became a jihadist overwatching -- this becomes his one hour of fame for his life. He's dead now, but now that's become his one hour of fame. That's what he will go down in history as.
BLITZER: We don't know if he actually went over there and received training in someplace in the Middle East or whether he was just online reading about ISIS, reading about militant Islam, if you will, from various chatter -- chatterboxes, if you will.
REESE: That's correct. And some of our sources have not been confirmed yet, but we've heard that his passport might have been taken already at one time.
BLITZER: His Canadian passport?
REESE: His Canadian passport. And he might have been on a watch list. But we have not confirmed that yet.
BLITZER: General Hertling, what does this say about the overall strategy that the U.S. has in this war on terror?
HERTLING: Well, first, Wolf, if I could comment on what you just said, it's a critically important thing that, with the record that this guy had, his conjecture at this point, but perhaps he did want to join his brothers in Syria or Iraq and couldn't get on a flight because of a watch list. So there's success there.
What it tells us about what's next for the United States is we've got to continue to have force protection measures for our military. It's been increased recently. We have to ensure that people are alert and vigilant at all times. That's step one, certainly.
But also, you know, the connections between the intelligence sources is very critical at this stage. Not only between the U.S. and Canada, but for all countries that are involved in some of these fights against extreme Islam.
BLITZER: This is a joint U.S.-Canadian operation, Philip Mudd, right now, and so the U.S. and Canada, they work extremely close to begin with. I don't know if the U.S. has a closer ally than Canada in this war on terror. Maybe Britain, but the Canadians are very sensitive on this point. They say they're working as closely with the United States as anyone out there. But the focus will be on ISIS, right?
MUDD: I think it will be. But Wolf, the initial question doesn't have to do with whether it's ISIS, whether it's another group. As Tom Fuentes was saying, there's a lot we can figure out to determine whether this guy touched our turf, was on our turf, or communicated with our turf.
You can almost break this down into baskets of questions: Did he travel here? Did he call here? Did he e-mail? Does he have friends here? Family here? School here?
You've got an FBI director tonight who's got a team together. He's going to have answers at 6 a.m. tomorrow. And those answers are, are we seeing anything in our databanks that reflect the initial judgment that this guy didn't have connections in the United States? There's a lot of people working this right now.
BLITZER: They're going to be looking closely, Tom Fuentes. This guy, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the shooter, the killer who himself was killed today in the Parliament, and what happened on Monday, another radicalized Muslim, a convert who killed a Canadian soldier simply by driving over him with his vehicle. They're going to see if that's any connection between these -- between these two individuals.
FUENTES: Well, that's true. And from the inspiration, "Inspire" magazine and other jihadi websites, they basically tell converts like him, "Look, if you've got a gun, use it. If you know how to make a bomb, use it. But if you don't, use a car."
So you could have a situation here that, since he knew how and had possession of a firearm, he used it. The earlier attack over the weekend, they used a car to kill the other Canadian soldier.
So, really, the messages coming out of ISIS, al Qaeda, and a number of these websites out of Yemen, is "kill people in your country, no matter how you do it. Just do it."
BLITZER: Let's not forget that October 15, a Canadian Twitter user who goes by the name Abu Khalid al-Kanadi, the Canadian, issued a message, proclaiming, after Canada said it was working with the U.S. in the war against ISIS, saying, "Yes, my message is clear. Canada initiated attacks on the Islamic state, so Muslims in Canada, retaliate and kill them wherever you find them."
We take a quick break. More of the breaking news right after this.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news from Ottawa. A Canadian soldier has been shot and killed.
Paula Newton is working her sources for us. Paula, you're getting new information?
NEWTON: We're getting information unfortunately about the victim. It is a 24-year-old Canadian soldier, Nathan Cirillo.
He was there on sentry duty that brisk morning in Ottawa when the suspect went up and shot him several times at point blank range. His family is said to be in a state of shock. Police in his hometown of Hamilton, Wolf, have set up a police cordon. The family is trying to deal with what's going on here. And everybody says he was incredibly proud of being able to do this sentry duty.
Wolf, this is a ceremonial thing that happens. Dozens of reserve units from across Canada come into the capital to be able to take on that role, and they stand there at our war memorial, at the (INAUDIBLE), and he had already been posting pictures on his social media pages, on friends and family saying what a thrill it was to be doing this. His family members are just trying to cope with the incredible shock of all of this right now.
At this point in time, even -- you know, his reserves in Hamilton, Ontario, right now, trying to figure out exactly what happened at that location, and how something like this, when he was standing sentry duty, how no one was able to help when he was shot. Again, he's just standing there, and his family is just trying to come to terms with the details of how that happened.
BLITZER: Paula, we're showing our viewers a photo of Corporal Nathan Cirillo. He's on the left side of the screen. This is only moments before a killer came up to him and shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, on duty there at the National War Memorial, right on parliament hill in Ottawa, on the left of your screen, Corporal Nathan Cirillo. And, of course, we express on behalf of all of our viewers right now, our deepest, deepest condolences to his family in Hamilton, Ontario, that's just not door away from Toronto.
Jim Sciutto is with us as well.
You're getting more information. What are you learning up, Jim?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there's increasing focus on the likelihood that this was motivated by Islamic extremism, not confirmed, but it's something they're looking into more for a number of reasons.
One, we know that the suspected shooter, who is also deceased, if he was a convert to Islam, that by itself not conclusive, but a factor.
Second of all, that the target was a soldier.
And third of all, that it happened just two days after another radical used his car to kill another Canadian soldier. This happens in an environment now where there are a number of calls to basically take on jihad at home on your own, whether in Canada or the U.S. They're coming from ISIS, but they're also coming from other terror groups, including al Qaeda and others, and that collection of indicators is giving investigators a path that they're pursuing now, that the motivation for this was Islamic extremism as well, Wolf, increasing focus on the idea that this was a single shooter. They haven't eliminated the possibility of other suspects.
But one reason for that is because the first shooting, as we noted, took here, that's where you saw him standing guard at the war memorial. It's only 400 yards from there to the main parliament building where a few moments after this -- several minutes after this attack, the second shooting took place and there was some witnesses who said they saw the shooter go in that direction.
Again, they haven't eliminated the possibility of other suspects, but this is a leading theory at this point.
BLITZER: All right. Jim Sciutto, stand by. We'll have much more on the breaking news right after this.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news in the search for more suspects on the attack of the Canadian parliament today. One soldier was shot and killed nearby. A suspected gunman was shot and killed inside of the parliament building. Police say they believe that he did not necessarily act alone, all of this unfolding just 45 miles or so from the U.S. border.
CNN's Rene Marsh is joining us.
You are learning more information as well, Renee. What is it?
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we know that the U.S.-Canadian border is a little bit more than an hour drive from where shots were fired. It's the longest undefended border, more than 5,500 miles long.
Now, a short time ago, I spoke with DHS, the Department of Homeland Security, and I'm told that officers at land, air, and sea borders are on increase alert. They're paying closer attention to people arriving. A lot of facts remain unknown.
They are still piecing this together. So, they're not necessarily increasing screening for people from a specific country, but again I'm told they are actively looking for anything suspicious. A DHS official also tells me there is no evidence at this point that what's happening and what's unfolding there in Canada poses any threat to the U.S.
But, of course, that could change as DHS gets more facts. We do know that Customs and Border Protection in the past have caught terrorists trying to enter the U.S. from Canada before. If you remember in 1999, a man was arrested and trying to enter the United States with explosives and the plan was to blow up LAX airport on New Year's Eve. That did not happen.
Now, if security were to be stepped up at the border, Wolf, we could see more scrutiny, which could mean secondary screening for people with non-U.S. or Canadian passports. At the land borders, individuals may be required to get out of the vehicle. The vehicle may have to be searched. People could also be randomly picked for a secondary screening.
So, that is what we could see. Again, we're not getting any indication that it's happening at this very moment, Wolf, but DHS saying that they are closely monitoring the situation.
BLITZER: As they should. Rene, thanks very much.
Colonel Reese, there was an incident in Jerusalem, a car rammed up to a bunch of pedestrians at a tram. We've got some video of that. Israelis think this is an act of terror and they are investigating.
There's that video. You see it right there. You see that car ramming up and apparently a little baby was killed in the process. This happened two days after a car rammed and killed a Canadian soldier. So, there could be a copy cat kind of thing going on here.
COL. JAMES REESE (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Wolf, one of the thing our analysis will be doing here is either confirm, deny ISIS two days ago conducted 15 attacks throughout Iraq and a coordinated attack. Could this be a copy cat or could this be a ploy by ISIS to try to get other multiple acts out there and our analysts have not yet confirmed or deny that.
BLITZER: There is a history, Tom, of cars being used by terrorists, right?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Absolutely. And "Inspire" magazine published out of Yemen -- al Qaeda in Yemen, have said for years, use your car, use a truck, use something you have access to if you don't know how to use a gun or have access to a gun or can't make a bomb, a car is a perfect thing, and practically everybody of age can drive.
BLITZER: It's a very worrisome development. You see what's going on there. We have no idea if it is related to what happened on Monday when a car rammed and killed a Canadian soldier. But you see what happened in Jerusalem today, and a whole bunch of people were injured and apparently a little baby was killed in that process as well.
All right. Guys, thanks very much. We're going to continue, of course, to watch the breaking news here on CNN.
Coming up, we're going to hear -- we expect to hear from the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. We'll have live coverage of that once that starts. Remember, you can always tweet me @WolfBlitzer, you can tweet the show @CNNSitroom. That's it for me.
Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.