Suspect in attack on 2 soldiers in Quebec 'had become radicalized': PMO
Published Monday, October 20, 2014 4:10PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 21, 2014 12:32PM EDT
The man who allegedly struck two soldiers with his car in Quebec and was killed after a police chase had become “radicalized” and was known to federal authorities, the Prime Minister’s Office said Monday.
The 25-year-old hit-and-run suspect was shot after a police chase Monday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, located about 50 kilometres southeast of Montreal.
Before the chase ensued, he allegedly struck two members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who were on foot in a strip mall parking lot. One of the soldiers is now in critical condition, while the other suffered minor injuries.
CTV News has confirmed that the suspect’s name is Martin Rouleau.
Although the Quebec provincial police refused to speculate Monday on the suspect’s motive, the PMO said he was “known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized,” the PMO said in a statement, noting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was briefed on the situation by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson, and National Security Advisor Stephen Rigby.
“As Canada’s national security agencies have said, Canadians should remain vigilant,” Harper’s office said.
Conservative MP Randy Hoback was the first to suggest Monday that the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu incident was more than just a hit-and-run.
He rose during question period Monday to ask the prime minister about “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack.”
Harper said the government is aware of the “extremely troubling” reports.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” he said during question period. “We’re closely monitoring the situation and we’ll make available all of the resources of the federal government.”
The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Monday. After the two soldiers were struck by a car, the suspect drove off and was chased by police for about four kilometres, until his vehicle rolled into a ditch.
Police said the suspect exited the car before he was shot. A knife was later found on the ground at the scene, police said.
But even as the police investigation in Quebec was unfolding, Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s deputy director of operations was telling a Senate national security committee that the spy agency had “no information to indicate a terrorist attack is imminent."
Jeff Yaworski did, however, say that CSIS can’t cover all the bases when it comes to monitoring radicalized Canadians who have returned home. He said that’s why CSIS is prioritizing such cases.
With reports from CTV’s Montreal Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin and CTV’s Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief Laurie Graham