Schiff: Ottawa shooting 'consistent' with terror

A senior member of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday the shooting in Ottawa is “consistent” with calls from Islamic militants for “lone-wolf” attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
 
“We don't know yet ... whether this was a terrorist-inspired attack. But if it was, it's certainly consistent with what [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS] has been urging,” Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDems revive impeachment talk after latest Cohen bombshell Giuliani calls latest Cohen allegations 'categorically false' Sen. Murray says Washington behavior reminds her of former preschool students MORE (D-Calif.) said in an interview with CNN.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schiff predicted that if terrorism was the motivation behind the attack it “will only further raise alarm bells in Canada and here at home.”
 
He added that officials have been concerned about "the potential of these home-grown attacks, using very low-tech means, not hard to get weapons either here or in Canada, and to utilize them, you know, to damaging consequence as we see.”

Wednesday's shooting began at the National War Memorial and then progressed to the country’s parliament and a nearby shopping center, leaving one gunman and a Canadian soldier dead, according to reports.
 
Just days earlier another Canadian soldier was run over and killed by a man authorities suggest was a jihadist. The suspect, who was fatally shot by police, had been previously detained when he sought to fly to Turkey, where many pro-ISIS fighters have crossed the border into Syria.
 
The incident prompted Ottawa to raise its terror alert level.
 
Schiff said the two incidents might be “completely unrelated.”

However, “the subsequent attack may have been inspired by the earlier attack, or they may have decided to literally pull the trigger on today's attack because of concerns about increased security after the attack a couple of days ago.”
 
He said that “if you had to diagram out what are the most approximate threats to the country, you would probably put the lone-wolf attacks, low-tech, lone-wolf attacks right in the bull's-eye.”
 
He credited the FBI for taking the “prudent “ step of raising alerts among its offices.
 
“Intelligence is really our best defense against something like this, but even intel, obviously, isn't perfect,” Schiff said.
 
Earlier on Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it was too early to say whether the shooting was a terrorist attack or linked to Canada's decision earlier this month to join the coalition fighting ISIS.