A recent convert to the Muslim faith in Canada hit two soldiers with his car in a small Quebec town. The assailant, Martin Coutour-Rouleau, was later chased by cops and killed after being shot seven times. The attack happened in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, close to Montreal, on the morning of October 20. Rouleau was 25 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. One of the Soldiers Rouleau Hit Was Killed
At 11:30 a.m. on October 20, Marin Coutour Rouleau rammed into two Canadian soldiers, one of whom was in uniform. The attack happened at a strip mall close to a military base. According to The Star, police believe that Rouleau lay in wait for up to two hours before striking.
Both of those troops were injured in the initial attack, one received minor injuries. Surete du Quebec Lt. Guy Lapointe, when asked about the condition of the other soldier said, “we fear for his life.” Later, that soldier died in a hospital. He was named as Patrice Vincent.
2. Rouleau Bragged About His Crime to a 911 Operator
The Toronto Sun reports that after hitting the soldiers, Rouleau called 911 to brag about his crime. He told the operator that he tried to kill the soldiers in the name of Allah. After a brief chase, Rouleau lost control of his car and flipped it into a ditch around two miles from where he hit the men. Witnesses said that Rouleau emerged from his car with a knife, he lunged at officers but was shot seven times. He died later in hospital.
3. He Was a Well-Known Radical
A Canadian government spokesman said that Rouleau’s name was on a government list of known-radicals. A neighbor told The Toronto Sun that Rouleau had converted around October 2013. A statement from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office said:
The individual who struck the two [Canadian Armed Forces] members with his car is known to federal authorities, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual has become radicalized.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson speculated that Rouleau may have been angry because his passport had been revoked. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney added that the attack was linked to Rouleau’s “terrorist ideology.”
4. On Social Media, Rouleau Regularly Attacked the West & Christianity
On his Facebook page, which was operated under the name Ahmad Rouleau, he posted regular messages mocking Christians and atheists. This was his last post on social media on October 17:
5. Conservatives in Canada Say This Is a Terrorist Attack
A Canadian Conservative politician Randy Hoback had asked Prime Minister Harper during a parlimentary session if the PM had heard of the “possible terror attack” close to Montreal. Harper said he’d heard about it but didn’t comment further.
Surete du Quebec Lt. Guy Lapointe told the media:
All I can say is that the theory that this was a deliberate act is part of the things we’ll be looking at but it’s very early right now to hypothesize or speculate as to what the intentions were… at this point, we’re just beginning our investigation.