A series of shootings in Ottawa could be connected to threats from ISIS to conduct “knife and gun” attacks in Canada, with officials investigating whether Islamists could be responsible.
The attacks took place on Wednesday, with a gunman opening fire on Ottawa’s War Memorial and then moving to Parliament Hill. The shootings left a Canadian soldier dead, as well as at least one reported gunman.
Though all details of the Ottawa shootings are not yet known, Canadian intelligence officials had already been aware that ISIS was calling on members to conduct “knife and gun” attacks within Canada.
”Intelligence officials tell NBC News that Canadian authorities have heard would-be terrorists discussing potential Isis-inspired ‘knife and gun’ attacks against US and Canadian targets inside Canada,” NBC reported in October.
”Both US and Canadian officials fear the beheading of an innocent person in a public place or the slashing of citizens on a crowded street until police arrive to shoot and ‘martyr’ the terrorists.”
”Canadian officials are weighing increased security around public buildings in coming days, government officials there say.”
There is still no word on whether ISIS was responsible for the Ottawa shootings, but some supporters are taking credit. As International Business Times noted, one Twitter user identifying himself as an ISIS supporter wrote (in a tweet translated from Arabic to English): “Our soldiers are on the ground in every theater, will battle you everywhere.”
If ISIS inspired the Ottawa shootings, it would be the second attack inspired by the Islamist militant group in Canada in the last two days. On Tuesday, a high-speed chase near Montreal ended with a Canadian man running down two soldiers, killing one.
“It was a terrorist attack and Martin died like he wanted to,” a close friend told The Star newspaper. “He wanted to be a martyr.”
Following the attack, Canada raised its national terror level from low to medium. There is no confirmation yet if Thursday’s attacks in Ottawa were related to ISIS.