RCMP says it stopped possible terrorist threat as police comb Ontario town

Details remained scarce hours after RCMP claimed the threat had been halted

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OTTAWA — A police operation continued well into Wednesday night in the southern Ontario town of Strathroy after the RCMP said it had halted a possible terrorist threat.

The Mounties say they received credible information of a potential terrorist act earlier in the day.

They say a suspect was identified and the “proper course of action has been taken” to ensure that there is no danger to the public.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone had been arrested.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he had spoken to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the events “to confirm that public safety has been and continues to be properly protected.”

The RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and other police and security agencies were involved in the operations, he added.

“These agencies conducted themselves effectively in the circumstances that developed today.”

Taking all relevant information into account, the national terrorism threat level for Canada remains at “medium” where it has stood since the fall of 2014, Goodale added.

The RCMP said because the matter was still unfolding and the investigation remained underway, there would be no further comment.

The Mounties planned to hold a news conference Thursday to provide details.

Ottawa was abuzz with rumours for much of Wednesday after a memo was circulated among National Defence personnel warning of a terrorist threat.

UPDATE, Aug. 10, 2016: The Canadian Press has confirmed a suspect was killed in a confrontation with police in Strathroy.

Resident Irene Lee said late Wednesday that police had been camped out near her parents’ convenience store since about 4:15 p.m.

At about that time, she said she was at her home close by when she heard a loud noise. She said shortly afterward, a police officer came by to tell residents to stay inside their homes.

Lee said there were up to 25 marked and unmarked cruisers outside a home on Park Street, which is right behind her parents’ store.

UPDATE, Aug. 10, 2016: Terrorism suspect Aaron Driver was killed in a confrontation with police in the southern Ontario town of Strathroy, The Canadian Press has learned.

Driver, originally from Winnipeg and in his mid-20s, was under a court order not to associate with any terrorist organization, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In February, Driver’s lawyer and the Crown agreed to a peace bond stating there are “reasonable grounds to fear that he may participate, contribute directly or indirectly in the activity of a terrorist group.”

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