The RCMP say a potential terror threat was thwarted yesterday, after receiving a tip about Aaron Driver's plans from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Canadian police said that the white Islamic State sympathizer killed in a major police takedown operation in southern Ontario on Wednesday was in the final stages of putting a plan to attack a busy urban area with a homemade bomb into action.
A Canadian man who had pledged allegiance to the ISIS group in a video was shot dead in a taxi after setting off an explosive device, police said Thursday.
"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. Among the evidence was a "martyrdom video" that allowed RCMP to identify him by 11am and go to his home in Strathroy around 4.30pm, CBC reported.
Leonard Tailleur, who represented Driver in the previous case on which he was granted the peace bond, said he hadn't spoken to Driver since February, nor has he spoken to police.
A Canadian man killed by police on Wednesday had indicated he planned to carry out an imminent rush-hour attack on a major Canadian city, drawing the attention of the USA authorities who tipped off Canadian police, intelligence sources said.
In the video, aired during a news conference in Ottawa, a masked Driver is seen railing against western "enemies of Islam" and warning that the only solution would be the "spilling of your blood".
"If he had gotten out of that residence before we got there", she said, "the scenario would have ended a lot differently". He said he was responding to a call for violence and "we are thirsty for blood".
TTC spokesman Brad Ross said there was no specific threat made and there was nothing to indicate the transport agency was a target, but the TTC sent out a "vigilance notice" to all of its employees.
"The reported terror plot that was thwarted yesterday demonstrates that Canadians must not only remain vigilant about the threat of terrorism at home and overseas, but also be a strong contributor to military efforts to fight it worldwide". Regional transit lines were also advised of a security threat.
"How quickly this was all established is actually a testament to the level of collaboration that exists between law enforcement agencies". "You will pay for everything you ever brought against us".
Driver had expressed support for the Parliament gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, on Twitter, which was how he first came to the attention of security officials.
Earlier this year, Driver was court-ordered to not associate himself with any terrorist organizations including the Islamic State.
Mounties applied for the peace bond that could impose limits on Driver's activities, alleging in provincial court documents that investigators believed he might help with terrorist group activities. He was being electronically monitored since then. At the time, the bail conditions drew criticism from the Manitoba Association of Rights and Liberties.
The RCMP said it had received credible information of a potential terror threat, identified a suspect and taken action to ensure there was no danger to the public.