A suspected ISIS sympathizer believed to be the lone suspect in a suicide bomb plot on a major Canadian city was killed Wednesday during a dramatic police takedown in a southern Ontario town, CTV News has learned.
Aaron Driver, 23, was killed inside a home in Strathroy, Ont., a community about 225 kilometres west of Toronto. He was well known to Canadian intelligence and police officials for his support for the Islamist terrorist group.
Police believe Driver was acting alone in the alleged plot, and there is no threat to public safety. But officials were swarming the Strathroy house until late Wednesday night, concerned about what may have been inside.
“Earlier today, the RCMP received credible information of a potential terrorist threat. 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,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement.
Neighbours reported hearing a loud explosion and gunshots during the police operation, which included swat teams, a bomb squad, the RCMP and Canada’s military special operations forces.
According to an internal government memo obtained by CTV News, the suspect allegedly planned to use an IED to carry out a suicide bombing mission in a public area. His alleged plan, according to the document, was to create mass casualties.
Officials feared that the plot could’ve been carried out on Wednesday during rush hour in a busy location.
The RCMP has not said what city was allegedly targeted. Security officials say there is no longer a threat to national security.
Driver was well known to police and intelligence officials. He was known for tweeting his support of ISIS, and he applauded the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill and encouraged ISIS to target Canadian military and police