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Islamic State supporter killed by Canadian police after suspected suicide attack plot

Various media reported that 23-year-old Aaron Driver was killed inside a home in Strathroy, Ontario. Driver made headlines after he was arrested last summer and subsequently released on a peace bond over fears he would engage in terrorism.

by Rachel Browne
Aug 11 2016, 12:30am

Bayne Stanley/CP

A man believed to be a supporter of the Islamic State was killed during a police standoff in a small Ontario town Wednesday evening, after Canadian federal police said they received "credible information of a potential terrorist threat."

CTV News reported that 23-year-old Aaron Driver was killed inside a home in Strathroy, Ontario. Driver made headlines over the last year after he was arrested last summer and subsequently released on a peace bond over fears he would engage in terrorism. He has never been charged with a crime, but the peace bond placed restrictions on his activities and movements. Driver frequently Tweeted about his support for the Islamic State under the pseudonym Harun Abdurahman.

On Thursday morning, CBC News reported that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had warned both the Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx about a security threat related to the incident in Strathroy.

Driver was never been charged with a crime, but the peace bond placed restrictions on his activities and movements. Driver frequently Tweeted about his support for the Islamic State under the pseudonym Harun Abdurahman.

RCMP officers were carrying out an investigation in the Strathroy neighborhood following information that linked Driver to a suicide bomb plot, CTV reported. Local media said that police with snipers and RCMP officers in tactical gear swarmed the area.

Earlier in the day, an RCMP spokesperson told VICE News — and other media reported — that a man was being held "in custody" in relation to the terror investigation. However, in a brief statement, the RCMP was vague, saying instead that "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 spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for clarity from VICE News late Wednesday night. According to the CBC, an internal government memo about the threat showed a photo of a male wearing all black and a balaclava.

Driver wore a black balaclava outside a courthouse in Winnipeg after a judge added more conditions to his peace bond. "If I fought it, they would have added even more conditions than I'm already under," Driver told reporters at the time.

Canada's public safety minister Ralph Goodale said in a statement that Canada's national terror threat level has not changed, and that the "safety and security of Canadians is of the utmost importance to the RCMP and we take all such threats seriously."

Related: Court Orders Islamic State Fanboy to Stay in Canada — And Stay Off Twitter

The RCMP is expected to hold a proper news conference on Thursday.

In October 2014, a gunman stormed the federal parliament buildings in Ottawa, killing one reserve officer who was guarding the National War Memorial. The attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, supported the Islamic State, and was shot dead at the scene.

Follow Rachel Browne on Twitter: @rp_browne

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Aaron Driver