Crime scene (illustration)
Crime scene (illustration)Thinkstock

One of two Canadian soldiers run over by an Islamist extremist has died from his wounds Tuesday morning, according to NBC news.

Late Monday night, Canadian police shot dead the attacker - a "homegrown" jihadist fanatic - after the 25 year-old man attacked soldiers without warning in a parking lot in his hometown.

Martin Couture-Rouleau, a resident of the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu 40 km (24 miles) from Montreal, attempted to run over two soldiers late Monday night.

Rouleau had allegedly called the police in the middle of the attack, according to the Le Paris newspaper, claiming it had been "in the name of Allah." 

A 4-km (2.4 mile) car chase ensued, ending when the assailant's car turned over into a ditch. Police were forced to shoot him dead after he ran at them with a knife. 

While Quebec police did not say whether the soldiers were in uniform, it has been confirmed that one was critically injured. The murdered soldier's name has not been released at the request of his family.

“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,” said a statement from the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s office.

“Federal authorities have confirmed that there are clear indications that the individual had become radicalized.”

Neighbors told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Rouleau had converted to Islam last year, and had been gravitating toward Islamism ever since.

His Facebook page is a photo of the flag of the Islamic State (ISIS) with the caption: "there will be no surrender. Victory or martyrdom in the path of Allah." He ranted against local Muslim groups, claimed that Al Qaeda is not responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks, and called to stop US aid to Israel, as well. 

Roulleau apparently tried to join ISIS in Iraq, according to the Toronto Star, but was prevented from leaving Canada by Border officials. Border police had had his name listed as a potential Islamist and prevented him from leaving due to security concerns, officials said. 

The attack surfaces after a number of Westerners released an ISIS propaganda video threatening their countries of origin and calling on Islamists abroad to join the group in Iraq and Syria. 

Several weeks ago, the group also published guidelines for Muslims in Canada and elsewhere to carry out terror attacks abroad, "in any way possible," encouraging them to kill "non-believers" - specifically military personnel. 

But Ray Boisvert, a former assistant director for intelligence at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) spy agency, told the Guardian soon after the attack that Roulleau was probably a "lone wolf" - and that attacks like these may be difficult to prevent. 

“It reflects what’s going on in a very active threat environment. You have far too many targets and far too many active targets,” Boisvert said.

Monday's attack also follows a similarly bizarre incident in Oklahoma, where a man also ascribing to ISIS's beliefs beheaded a co-worker earlier this month.

US officials strenuously denied any link between Islamism and the murder, however - even after later reports indicated that the assailant had been "shouting Islamic phrases" during the attack.