OTTAWA, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- There is no link between a gunman who attacked the Ottawa, Canada, Parliament and Islamist groups in the Middle East, Canada's Foreign Minister said.
John Baird said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the Canadian citizen who shot and killed a soldier at Ottawa's War Memorial before entering the Parliament building armed, is thus far not connected with the Islamic State.
Zehaf-Bibeau was shot to death by the parliamentary Sergeant-at-Arms as legislators hid in locked rooms and Prime Minister Stephen Harper was escorted from the building.
Baird told the British Broadcasting Corp. Zehaf-Bibeau was "certainly radicalized" by jihadist thinking, but was not regarded a high-priority risk.
No Islamist group has taken responsibility for Wednesday's attack.
Baird added he is most concerned "tremendously concerned about the number of Canadians who are radicalized and are fighting in Syria or Iraq, but we don't have any evidence to link the two at this stage."
"Reports suggest that well in excess of 100 Canadians have gone to fight jihad in the Middle East and that's a huge concern."
The incident occurred five days after Canada announced a rise in its national threat level and two days after a man, whose background similarly included Islamist radicalization, struck and killed a soldier with his car in a Montreal suburb. Earlier in October, Canada joined the U.S.-led coalition providing airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It currently has six fighter planes involved in the coalition strike force.