Montreal: Canada was faced with the specter of Islamist violence on Tuesday after an attack by a suspected jihadist killed a soldier, a day before Ottawa deployed warplanes to bomb Islamic State militants.
The assailant was fatally shot by police on Monday after he ran over two soldiers with his car in a Quebec parking lot -- a scenario which had been depicted only last month in IS propaganda.
The suspect was described by Canadian authorities as someone they believed had become "radicalized."
At a press conference, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the attack was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology."
"I am horrified by what took place here," he said. "This is a terrible act of violence against our country, against our military, against our values."
The driver smashed his car into the two soldiers in a supermarket parking lot before fleeing with police in pursuit.
Police said the 25-year-old suspect crashed his Nissan Altima into a roadside ditch and rolled it over. When he extricated himself from the wreckage brandishing a knife, officers shot him.
The slain soldier had been admitted in critical condition to a hospital in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 40 kilometers southeast of Montreal.
Officials said the injuries to the other soldier were not life-threatening.
The motive behind the attack is being investigated. Police said the suspect may have stalked his victims, noting he sat in his car in the parking lot for more than two hours before the attack.
Quebec police said the "terrorist thesis (was) being considered by investigators," but they did not specify any links between the suspected attacker and any outlawed groups.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, meanwhile, said the suspect "was known" to the state's anti-terrorism task force.
Last month, IS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called for supporters living in coalition member countries, including Canada, to launch spontaneous attacks against their non-Muslim countrymen.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European -- especially the spiteful and filthy French -- or an Australian, or a Canadian or any other disbeliever... Including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him," he said.