TORONTO, Aaron Driver, the alleged Islamic State supporter accused of planning an attack in Canada, made a video before he died pledging allegiance to the militant Islamist organization’s leader — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The video, described as a “martyrdom video” by Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, was shown by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Thursday during a press conference in which authorities revealed details about the anti-terrorism operation that led to Driver’s death on Wednesday in Ontario.
Police said Driver, who used the online alias Harun Abdurahman, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi in the video, in which the man seen wearing a ski mask calls Western powers the “enemies of Islam.” The man in the video also praised the recent Islamic State bombings in Paris, France, and in Brussels, Belgium, before pledging to attack Canada.
In a statement, the RCMP said it “received information from the FBI about an individual who was in the final stages of planning to commit an attack with an explosive device.” Driver was accused of planning to strike an urban center during morning or afternoon rush hour.
The RCMP said it immediately dispatched security agencies and police to follow up on the tip. Authorities were able to track down Driver at the Strathroy municipality of Ontario.
“When the suspect came out of a residence of Park Street and got into a taxi, the RCMP Emergency Response Team went to arrest the suspect; there was an explosion inside the taxi and the suspect is dead after a confrontation with the police,” RCMP’s Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Strachan said in a press conference Thursday.
Shots were fired but authorities did not specify whether Driver died from the explosion within the taxi cab or from bullets.
The taxi driver was injured but was not hospitalized. The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency called Driver a “soldier” of the Islamic State, the SITE Intelligence Group reports.