Man killed in Canada raid made 'martyrdom video,' planned attack: police

Thu Aug 11, 2016 8:19pm EDT
 
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By Robert MacMillan

STRATHROY, Ontario (Reuters) - The man killed during a Canadian police raid at his home in Ontario on Wednesday was a supporter of Islamic State who was in the final stages of preparing an attack on a Canadian city with a homemade bomb, police said on Thursday.

Police went to the home of Aaron Driver in the small town of Strathroy after receiving credible information, including a "martyrdom video," from U.S. authorities that he planned what could have been a "dreadful" attack, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said at a news conference.

Driver died after he detonated an explosive device in the backseat of a taxi as police closed in and opened fire, the RCMP said in Ottawa. A representative from a local taxi company said a cab had been dispatched to Driver's address at the time of the police raid and the taxi driver sustained minor injuries.

It was a race against time," said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana, noting the outcome "could have been significantly more dreadful" if police had not intervened when they did.

The incident was the first security test for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was elected last October and who in February fulfilled a campaign pledge to withdraw Canada from the combat mission against Islamic State and to increase its mission training local fighters against the group in northern Iraq.

The video provided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation allowed the RCMP to identify Driver and go to his home in Strathroy, about 225 km (140 miles) southwest of Toronto. In Washington, the FBI said it gave the RCMP "actionable threat intelligence".

In the video, a man in a black balaclava cites a phrase from the Koran, refers to crimes against Muslims and pledges an imminent attack on a Canadian city.

"Oh Canada, you received many warnings, you were told many times what would become of those who fight against the Islamic State," the man says in the video, pledging allegiance to the militant group.   Continued...

 
An image of Aaron Driver, a Canadian man killed by police on Wednesday who had indicated he planned to carry out an imminent rush-hour attack on a major Canadian city, is projected on screens during a news conference with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana (L) and Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Strachan in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, August 11, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie