NYPD Commissioner Bratton says there is no indication that Thompson’s attack is related to the attacks in Canada or to extremist ideology, but says this is still being investigated:
I think certainly the heightened concern is relative to that type of assault based on what just happened in Canada.
The attacks in Canada and New York raise concerns over the group’s ability to inspire lone wolf attackers. While there are no indications of direct involvement, each of the attackers is thought to have been inspired by ISIS messages, and all three attacks came in less than a month after ISIS called for individual jihad in Western countries. William McCants, a scholar of Islamist militancy at the Brookings Institution:
The Al Qaeda ‘fan boys’ never did this, definitely not in so coordinated a fashion in so close a time.
Mokhtar Awad, a researcher at the liberal Center for American Progress, based in Washington, says the group’s social media messages have changed sharply, from ‘come join the attack’ to ‘we are being attacked and what are you doing? You are just sitting there!’
They are trying to shame sympathizers. ’If you can’t join us over here, at least do what you can over there.’
Couture-Rouleau’s account remains active. It has no tweets, but he has followed several ISIS-affiliated accounts and has an ISIS flag as his profile picture.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, speaking in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu:
[The attack was] clearly linked to terrorist ideology. It is an unacceptable act of violence against our country, our Quebec values, our Canadian values.
Vincent, 53, dies of his injuries. The second soldier, who is not identified, is recovering in hospital. Vincent was a 28-year veteran of the Canadian Forces who had been stationed at bases across Canada. He was posted in North Bay, Ont., until 2012 as a refrigeration and mechanical technician wing construction engineer, and had also served as a military firefighter. He loved cycling. Dwayne MacIntosh, who worked with Vincent for three years on HMCS St John’s:
He was very friendly, very compassionate individual. He would do everything for you and always went out of his way.
A friend of Couture-Rouleau says that he planned the attack as a suicide mission.
It was a terrorist attack and Martin died like he wanted to.
Couture-Rouleau is shot dead by Royal Canadian Mounted Police after fleeing the scene. His car hits a spike strip laid by the officers and flips into a ditch. A witness says he charges the police with a large knife:
I heard [the police] shout several times, ‘Get out of the car, get out of the car and raise your hands.’ The man got out and charged towards the policewoman. Then that’s when we heard seven gunshots, then the man was on the ground.
Couture-Rouleau calls 911 after running down the two soldiers and fleeing the scene. He says that he carried out the act in the name of Allah.
Couture-Rouleau strikes the two soldiers in his car in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, not far from Montreal. He flees the scene.
Quebec provincial police say the gold-beige colored 2000 Nissan Altima is spotted as early as 9:15 a.m. waiting in the lot in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, located about 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal. It serves a number of provincial, federal and military administrative offices, as well as several commercial properties.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Supt. Martine Fontaine says the department cooperated with Couture-Rouleau’s family to confiscate his passport in the weeks prior to the killing. She says they also met with his imam to change his way of thinking. The last time the police met Couture-Rouleau himself was Oct. 9, and he showed willingness to change his ideology:
We also used our police officers from the outreach program to help him to see his thoughts were not the right ones
Couture-Rouleau is arrested on suspicion of planning terror actions abroad. He is preparing to leave Canada to travel to Turkey. He is released after questioning. Federal police spokesman:
We weren’t able to determine that he wanted to commit an act abroad. If we had had reasons to believe that Mr. Rouleau would commit a terrorist act or a criminal act, we wouldn’t have let him go.
Couture-Rouleau is investigated by Mounties after Facebook posts indicate that he is becoming increasingly radicalized. His user name for the account (now inactive) is Ahmad LeConverti (Ahmad the Converted). Posts include propaganda videos and other materials admiring jihad, including a video featuring the logo for ISIS. Federal police spokesman Supt. Martine Fontaine:
There was no indication then of his intentions. On the contrary, he seemed open to the idea of maybe taking measures to change his ways. We couldn’t arrest someone for having radical thoughts. It’s not a crime in Canada.
Couture-Rouleau’s high-pressure cleaning company is robbed. Believing that the authorities are not taking action, he becomes obsessed with internet news and starts exhibiting strange behavior. He discovers Islam and decides to convert. His friend, Jonathan Prince:
It was bizarre and extreme. He was surely depressed. I think he was depressed and that’s what led him to it. It was weird. He was normal one day and then changed the next.