Hit-and-run incident in Canada that killed soldier called 'terrorist attack '

A hit and run incident in Canada that killed on soldier and severely injured another is being called a terrorist attack by government officials.

The jihadist, a Muslim convert named Martin Rouleau-Couture, waited in his car two hours outside a building housing government and military offices before running down the two soldiers. Rouleau was no stranger to anti-terrorism authorities. They had been watching the jihadist since June, even arresting him to prevent him flying to Turkey where they suspected he was going to try and join Islamic State. But they had to let him go for lack of evidence.

New York Times:

Superintendent Martine Fontaine of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a televised news conference that a special antiterrorism force had begun monitoring Mr. Rouleau in June and arrested him a month later when he was about to fly to Turkey. He was released for lack of evidence that he intended to join a terrorist group. Meetings between the Mounted Police and Mr. Rouleau, 25, continued until Oct. 9.

“It’s very difficult to know exactly what an individual is planning to do before a crime is committed,” Superintendent Fontaine said. “We cannot arrest someone for thinking radical thoughts; it is not a crime in Canada.”

John Baird, the foreign affairs minister, voiced a similar stance. “You can’t stop him getting into a car,” Mr. Baird told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The police said Tuesday that Mr. Rouleau had sat in his Nissan Altima sedan outside a building housing several government and military offices for about two hours before he ran down the soldiers. But at several news conferences, they offered no details on what had set off the attack.

The owner of a small power-washing business, Mr. Rouleau lived at his parents’ home, separate from his former partner and their young child. His family reportedly became alarmed about a change in his personality last year, about the time he converted to Islam. His parents contacted the police, who were also in touch with an imam at the mosque where Mr. Rouleau began praying regularly.

Superintendent Fontaine said that her force had been particularly concerned about Mr. Rouleau’s Facebook page, which has been shut down. Several of his postings there had extolled Islamic State violence, expressed anti-Semitic sentiments and denigrated Christianity. Last week, Mr. Rouleau changed his profile photograph to an image of two open doors. Behind one was a blue sky with puffy clouds, presumably heaven, while the other revealed a fiery hell.

Contrast the Canadian authorities having no qualms about designating the incident as a terrorist attack with US authorities twiisting themselves into pretzels trying not to call the beheading in Oklahoma terrorism. It's not the body count. It's the intent. And both Alton Noel and Martin Rouleau had bloody jihad on their minds when they carried out their attacks.

Should the authorities have been able to detain Rouleau and prevent his murderous attack? Unfortunately, one of the west's great strengths is also the source of its greatest weakness. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought is a necessity to protect liberty. You can't put someone in jail for what they're thinking or speaking, even if those words suggest violence. Only acts can be punished, not words. Because of that, Rouleau was able to stay out of jail until he carried out his designs.

 

A hit and run incident in Canada that killed on soldier and severely injured another is being called a terrorist attack by government officials.

The jihadist, a Muslim convert named Martin Rouleau-Couture, waited in his car two hours outside a building housing government and military offices before running down the two soldiers. Rouleau was no stranger to anti-terrorism authorities. They had been watching the jihadist since June, even arresting him to prevent him flying to Turkey where they suspected he was going to try and join Islamic State. But they had to let him go for lack of evidence.

New York Times:

Superintendent Martine Fontaine of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said at a televised news conference that a special antiterrorism force had begun monitoring Mr. Rouleau in June and arrested him a month later when he was about to fly to Turkey. He was released for lack of evidence that he intended to join a terrorist group. Meetings between the Mounted Police and Mr. Rouleau, 25, continued until Oct. 9.

“It’s very difficult to know exactly what an individual is planning to do before a crime is committed,” Superintendent Fontaine said. “We cannot arrest someone for thinking radical thoughts; it is not a crime in Canada.”

John Baird, the foreign affairs minister, voiced a similar stance. “You can’t stop him getting into a car,” Mr. Baird told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The police said Tuesday that Mr. Rouleau had sat in his Nissan Altima sedan outside a building housing several government and military offices for about two hours before he ran down the soldiers. But at several news conferences, they offered no details on what had set off the attack.

The owner of a small power-washing business, Mr. Rouleau lived at his parents’ home, separate from his former partner and their young child. His family reportedly became alarmed about a change in his personality last year, about the time he converted to Islam. His parents contacted the police, who were also in touch with an imam at the mosque where Mr. Rouleau began praying regularly.

Superintendent Fontaine said that her force had been particularly concerned about Mr. Rouleau’s Facebook page, which has been shut down. Several of his postings there had extolled Islamic State violence, expressed anti-Semitic sentiments and denigrated Christianity. Last week, Mr. Rouleau changed his profile photograph to an image of two open doors. Behind one was a blue sky with puffy clouds, presumably heaven, while the other revealed a fiery hell.

Contrast the Canadian authorities having no qualms about designating the incident as a terrorist attack with US authorities twiisting themselves into pretzels trying not to call the beheading in Oklahoma terrorism. It's not the body count. It's the intent. And both Alton Noel and Martin Rouleau had bloody jihad on their minds when they carried out their attacks.

Should the authorities have been able to detain Rouleau and prevent his murderous attack? Unfortunately, one of the west's great strengths is also the source of its greatest weakness. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought is a necessity to protect liberty. You can't put someone in jail for what they're thinking or speaking, even if those words suggest violence. Only acts can be punished, not words. Because of that, Rouleau was able to stay out of jail until he carried out his designs.