Canada probes Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as possible suspect in Ottawa shooting: source

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police are investigating a man identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as a possible suspect in the shootings on Wednesday around parliament in Ottawa, a source familiar with the matter said.

Police said the male suspect in the attacks was dead but did not confirm he was Zehaf-Bibeau. Some U.S. government sources said the shooter was born Michael Joseph Hall but changed his name to Zehaf-Bibeau.

Two U.S. officials said that U.S. agencies have been advised that the shooter was a Canadian convert to Islam. One of the officials said the man was from Quebec.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service declined to comment on the gunman’s identity.

Canada’s capital was jolted by the fatal shooting of a soldier and an attack on the parliament building on Wednesday, with gunshots fired outside a room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking.

The shooting was the second attack on Canadian soldiers in a week.

On Monday, Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old who converted to Islam last year, rammed his car into two soldiers in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and was shot dead by police. One of the soldiers later died.

No group, Islamic or otherwise, claimed responsibility for either the attack in Ottawa or the one near Montreal on Monday.

Zehaf-Bibeau had multiple run-ins with Canadian police in the French-speaking province of Quebec.

Quebec court records show three 2004 cases involving a Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, born in 1982. That year he pleaded guilty to two drug-related offenses and one charge of failing to comply with a judge’s order.

The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing sources, said he was recently designated a “high-risk traveler” by the Canadian government - meaning it was feared he would travel abroad to commit crimes - and that his passport had been seized.

Those were similar circumstances to Rouleau who was arrested at the airport in July on his way to Turkey and also had his passport confiscated.

Rouleau was among 90 people being tracked by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on suspicion of taking part in militant activities abroad or planning to do so.

Police would not confirm whether Zehaf-Bibeau was on this list.

Reporting by Allison Lampert, Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Howard Goller