Canadian 'Known Wolf' Terrorist Planned Suicide Bombing of Major City, Killed in Overnight Police Operation
A Canadian man known as an ISIS supporter and who was released in February on a peace bond has been killed in an overnight police raid in his hometown of Strathroy, Ontario. Authorities said that Aaron Driver, aka Harun Abdurahman, had planned a suicide attack on a major Canadian city. An alert sent to Canadian law enforcement authorities yesterday indicated that an attack was imminent.
This is the most recent example of what I have termed "known wolf" terrorism, where a suspect was already known to law enforcement.
And reports of at least one raid early this morning may indicate that Driver was not acting alone.
CBC News has confirmed that Aaron Driver, a suspect being sought in connection with a terror threat, has been killed in a confrontation with police in Strathroy, Ont.
A family member confirmed the death of the 24-year-old.
CBC News has learned that Driver's family was told by the RCMP that police shot Driver after he detonated an explosive device that injured himself and another person. The family was also told Driver had another device that he was going to detonate, which is why police shot him.
A senior police official told Canadian Press Wednesday the suspect allegedly planned to use a bomb to carry out a suicide bombing mission in a public area but was killed in a police operation.
The RCMP were conducting an operation in a residential southwestern Ontario neighbourhood of Strathroy on Wednesday evening after it said credible information of a potential terrorist act was received earlier in the day.
So despite being released by Canadian authorities on a "peace bond" in February, Driver was apparently able to build or receive multiple explosive devices under the noses of law enforcement.
Driver was well known to authorities and had been the subject of numerous media reports over the past two years going back to his support for the October 2014 Parliament Hill shooting that killed one military honor guard and ended in a shootout inside Canada's Parliament building.
But despite his open support for ISIS, he assured authorities and the media he was no threat.
In February, he agreed to a "peace bond" with conditions that he had to stay in Ontario; needed permission to own phones, computers or other electronic devices; and could not use social media through the end of this month. Under that agreement, he no longer had to wear a GPS ankle bracelet. The conditions were considered harsh by Canadian civil rights groups.
On social media, Driver had threatened the United States and made his support for ISIS known, prompting police to raid his house and place him under arrest in June 2015.
Events began last night when reports surfaced of an alert sent to Canadian law enforcement authorities yesterday warning of a potential imminent terrorist threat.
RCMP says it has "credible information of a potential terrorist threat." pic.twitter.com/KkMzwWLXMc
— Stewart Bell (@StewartBellNP) August 10, 2016
Reports of a confrontation between Driver and Canadian police in Strathroy eventually led to news that he had been killed by police and that he had been the subject of the earlier police alert for planning a suicide bombing in a major Canadian city.
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) August 11, 2016
What prompted the alert was a video that Driver had reportedly made threatening an attack:
— Stewart Bell (@StewartBellNP) August 11, 2016
And there are currently reports of police activity in London, Ontario, that may be tied to the earlier confrontation with Driver in Strathroy.
— Jennifer O'Brien (@OBrienatLFPress) August 11, 2016
London police saying there is a tie
— John Ryan (@JohnRatLFPress) August 11, 2016
That Driver had what appears to be several explosive devices indicates how far the suicide bombing plot had progressed. While Canadian authorities may tout the events overnight as a victory, others will see it as a very close call.