At a news conference on Friday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that Canadian jihadi Aaron Driver, shot by the police after detonating a bomb in a taxicab, filmed a “martyrdom video,” pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, and was planning a “dreadful” attack.
In the martyrdom video, Driver dresses in a black balaclava, like the garb favored by ISIS militants, “cites a phrase from the Koran, refers to crimes against Muslims and pledges an imminent attack on a Canadian city,” as Reuters describes it.
“Oh Canada, you received many warnings, you were told many times what would become of those who fight against the Islamic State,” begins the aspiring jihadi, who went by the name “Harun Abdulrahman” on social media.
The National Post provided an edited copy of the video, plus a full transcript of Driver’s tirade, which ends with the formal vow of allegiance to ISIS “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that the Islamic State demands from “lone wolf” recruits:
Oh Canada, you received many warnings. You were told many times what will become of those who fight against the Islamic State. You watched as your allies in Europe and America had their bullets and bombs returned back to them. You saw bodies of the filthy French laying in their own streets.
You saw explosions in Paris and Brussels, similar to the explosions they were dropping on citizens of the Islamic State. You saw brave men and women respond to the call of jihad. You saw that each member of the coalition of crusaders was being punished for their aggression against the Muslims. Then, perhaps, you found yourself safe from retaliation because you ran away from the battlefield. No, no by Allah you still have much to pay for.
You still have a heavy debt which has to be paid. You still have Muslim blood on your hands, and for this we are thirsty for your blood. There’s a fire burning in the chest of every Muslim, and this fire can be cooled only by the spilling of your blood. Your war on Islam is not the kind of crime we allow ourselves to dismiss, to forgive or to forget, insha’Allah.
You will pay for everything you ever brought against us. Whether you drop a bomb or fire a single bullet, we will hold you accountable for this, insha’Allah. Whether you spend millions in the war against Islam or you spend a single cent, we will hold you accountable, insha’Allah.
When you creep an inch towards the lands of Islam or you set foot over its boundaries, we will hold you accountable, insha’Allah.
You call yourselves peacekeepers on this Earth, but (Allah) has already warned us against you. You’re nothing but mischief-makers, and all you do is spread oppression and corruption. So today is the day you experience what it’s like to be targeted for your belief, insha’Allah.
I give my pledge of allegiance to (ISIL leader) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi … who’s called for jihad in the lands of crusaders, and I respond to this call.
Inshallah means “as Allah wills.” Driver’s taunt that Canadians could not find safety by “running away from the battlefield” refers to new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to withdraw Canadian forces from combat missions against the Islamic State.
According to Reuters, the martyrdom video was the crucial “actionable threat intelligence” provided by the American FBI to Canadian authorities. The video also reportedly helped the RCMP identify Driver and locate his residence. The police confronted him as he was attempting to use a taxicab to leave the home, and shot him after he detonated an explosive device, causing minor injuries to the cab driver.
“It was a race against time,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana. He said Driver was planning a “significantly more dreadful” attack if he had not been stopped in time.
The UK Guardian quotes Cabana addressing the issue of Driver being a known terrorist threat, who was theoretically under police supervision at the time he came dangerously close to pulling off a mass-casualty attack:
“Mr Driver was one individual among others that had potentially criminal intentions. And our ability to monitor people 24 hours a day and 7 days a week simply does not exist, we can’t do that. When individuals have intentions, such as Mr Driver had, there are no conditions that can be put in place that will prevent them from taking action.”
Newsweek reports that the ISIS news agency, Amaq, has described Driver as a “soldier of the Islamic State,” conceding that he made a mistake by “releasing his video… before carrying out the attack.”