The RCMP said terror suspect Aaron Driver (pictured, in a video obtained by the FBI and RCMP) entered a taxi before being killed during a confrontation with police in Strathroy.
Global News now says that Driver was trying to get to London.
At a press conference Thursday, the RCMP revealed more details surrounding the death of 24-year-old Driver, a terrorism suspect and supporter of the so-called Islamic State, who was killed by police Wednesday evening.
Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Strachan described how RCMP and other police agencies descended onto a home where Driver lived that belonged to his sister.
“At approximately [4:30 p.m. ET] that male suspect exited a residence on Park Street in Strathroy and entered into a cab that had just arrived,” Strachan said. “The RCMP emergency response engaged with the suspect who detonated a device in the back of the cab.”
“The cab driver suffered minor injuries and the suspect died during his engagement with police.”
Pictures shown during a news conference in Ottawa showed a cab with a blackened interior and broken windows.
Strachan said the RCMP investigation has led to a second location in London “related to Mr. Driver’s acitivities.”
The owner of Leo’s Taxi company confirmed to Global News that his driver was injured and still in hospital and that the suspect had asked to be taken to Citi Plaza, a mall in downtown London, roughly 40 minutes away. The owner said Driver was a regular customer, often taking him to his job at Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc., a company that manufactures automotive parts.
The RCMP also released a video at the news conference in which a masked man identified as Driver threatens: “O Canada, you received many warnings.”
Driver had been on the radar of intelligence officials for using social media to publicly support ISIS. He said the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill carried out by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was justified and encouraged ISIS to target the Canadian military and law enforcement officials.
He was arrested in June of last year in Winnipeg under suspicion he could have carried out a terrorist act, or helped a terror group. In February, he agreed to a number of peace-bond conditions that included living with his sister in Strathroy, Ont., as well as not possessing firearms or explosives, not possessing cellphones or computers, and not using social media..
Driver’s former lawyer, Leonard Tailleur, said he was “shocked” to hear his former client was allegedly planning to carry out a suicide bombing on a major Canadian city.
“There was no indication of violence whatsoever,” Tailleur said. “He was a very passive individual. I can say he was probably one of the best clients I ever had.”
With files from Global News and The Canadian Press