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It was a quiet Wednesday night in Strathroy, Ontario—a small community 225 km west of Toronto—when residents heard an explosion and several gunshots as swat teams and bomb squad carried out an operation in one of the houses.
It was against an alleged terrorist and ISIS sympathizer, 23 year old Aaron Driver.
The operation resulted in the death of Driver who, according to reports, was planning to conduct a suicide attack in a public area.
This was not a surprise discovery. Driver had quite a history of supporting ISIS and making threats. In 2014, he was reported tweeting in support of ISIS. He also justified the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill.
A year later, he was arrested on the charges of supporting terrorism, but was later released on bail and was kept under a peace bond under various conditions including that he wasn’t allowed to use a phone and visit social media websites.
Driver was born a Christian but was later exposed to Islamic militant ideas through the internet.
The RCMP released a statement post operation stating that it had acted on the basis of “credible information of a potential terrorist threat.”
The “threat” mentioned in the statement refers to Driver’s alleged plans of using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to carry a suicide attack on a rush hour in a busy area intended to create mass casualties.
“A suspect was identified and the proper course of action has been taken to ensure that there is no danger to the public’s safety,” according to the statement. “The safety and security of Canadians is of the utmost importance to the RCMP and we take all such threats seriously. As this is still an unfolding matter and that the investigation is still underway, we are not able to provide further comment at this time.”