Police said a Canadian man who rammed two soldiers in Quebec with his car, killing one of them, converted to Islam last year and was among 90 people being tracked by authorities on suspicion of taking part in militant activities abroad or planning to do so, Reuters reported.
Monday’s attack came shortly after Canada announced it was joining the battle against Islamic State fighters who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.
Bob Paulson, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said on Tuesday the attacker was one of 90 individuals the force has been investigating. The RCMP had previously seized his passport because it feared he might try to go abroad, Paulson said.
Police killed the attacker shortly after he ran down the two soldiers in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 40 kilometers southeast of Montreal, the report said.
The man, identified in the media as 25-year-old Martin Rouleau, had waited in a parking lot outside a government services center for veterans for more than two hours before initiating his attack.
The dead soldier was a 53-year-old adjutant, police said, adding that the other soldier was rushed to the hospital.
“What took place yesterday is clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney was quoted as saying.
The attacker fled in his car, was chased by police and shot dead after he emerged from his vehicle when it flipped over into a ditch, police said. They said he had a knife.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said at least 50 Canadians were involved in terrorist-related activities with Islamic State and other militant groups in the Middle East.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said the man was known to federal authorities, and that there were clear indications he had become “radicalized”, a term the government has used to refer to those who support militant Islam.
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