Gunman video says Parliament attack spurred by Canada military action

OTTAWA (REUTERS) - The gunman who shot dead a soldier in Canada's capital and then stormed Parliament last year said he was protesting against Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a video recording released on Friday.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau made the short video on his mobile phone just before he launched his attacks on Oct 22. Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian convert to Islam, died in a gun battle with police and security guards shortly after entering the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

"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,"Zehaf-Bibeau said on the video, which police played to a committee of legislators.

Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, struck three weeks after Canada decided to deploy forces in Iraq as part of a campaign against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) militants. Two days earlier, another convert to Islam had run down and killed a soldier in Quebec with his car.

Harper cited the attacks and the threat of "jihadist terrorism" as the reason for a tough new draft security law the right-leaning Conservative government unveiled on Jan. 30.

Critics say the law - which would give Canada's spies greater powers to disrupt attacks - is too sweeping.

Canada maintained a military mission in Afghanistan for the 10 years up to 2011.