World

Police believe dead suspect who struck 2 members of Canadian military had become radicalized

  • A car is overturned in the ditch in a cordoned off area in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on Monday Oct. 20, 2014.  One of two soldiers hit by a car  died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police.  Provincial police say the man sped off in his car after hitting the two soldiers in the parking lot of a shopping mall, starting a chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times. The driver died from police gunfire.  The second soldier's injuries are described as less serious.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Pascal Marchand)

    A car is overturned in the ditch in a cordoned off area in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on Monday Oct. 20, 2014. One of two soldiers hit by a car died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police. Provincial police say the man sped off in his car after hitting the two soldiers in the parking lot of a shopping mall, starting a chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times. The driver died from police gunfire. The second soldier's injuries are described as less serious. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Pascal Marchand)  (The Associated Press)

  • Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt address reporters at a news conference in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, on Tuesday Oct. 21, 2014. One of two soldiers hit by a car on Monday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police. An official familiar with the case said the suspect, Martin Couture Rouleau, 25, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, was influenced by radical Islamists. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

    Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt address reporters at a news conference in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, on Tuesday Oct. 21, 2014. One of two soldiers hit by a car on Monday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police. An official familiar with the case said the suspect, Martin Couture Rouleau, 25, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, was influenced by radical Islamists. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police investigators take photos at the scene where two soldiers were struck by a car in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on Monday Oct. 20, 2014.  One of two soldiers hit by a car  died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police.  Provincial police say the man sped off in his car after hitting the two soldiers in the parking lot of a shopping mall, starting a chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times. The driver died from police gunfire.  The second soldier's injuries are described as less serious.  (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Pascal Marchand)

    Police investigators take photos at the scene where two soldiers were struck by a car in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on Monday Oct. 20, 2014. One of two soldiers hit by a car died of his injuries early Tuesday, according to Quebec provincial police. Provincial police say the man sped off in his car after hitting the two soldiers in the parking lot of a shopping mall, starting a chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times. The driver died from police gunfire. The second soldier's injuries are described as less serious. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Pascal Marchand)  (The Associated Press)

A man who was shot and killed by police after he struck two members of the Canadian military with his car in a city near Montreal had become influenced by radical Islam, an official familiar with the case said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesman David Falls said Monday that the suspect "was known to Federal authorities" and "authorities were concerned that he had become radicalized."

An official familiar with the case identified the suspect as Martin Couture Rouleau, 25, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and said he was influenced by radical Islamists. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

One neighbor told reporters that Rouleau stopped wearing jeans and started wearing a tunic and that he changed over the last year and was alone a lot. Another neighbor said Rouleau converted to Islam a little over a year ago.

A Quebec business data base shows Rouleau started a water-pressure cleaning company in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in 2012 with two other people.

Police declined to provide details, citing the investigation.

Quebec police shot the man after two Canadian Forces members were struck by the motorist on Monday in a parking lot mall near Montreal. The suspect died a few hours after being shot.

Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet said earlier that police ended up shooting the man after a car chase in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 26 miles (42 kilometers) southeast of Montreal. After the man hit the two soldiers, he fled the scene in his vehicle, triggering a police chase that ended with the man losing control and his car rolling over several times.

Brunet said the man exited the car and was shot. Brunet said they found a knife on the ground but he could not say if the suspect had it in his hand when police fired their weapons. Television images showed a large knife in the grass near the flipped over car.

One of the soldiers was listed in critical condition, while the other's injuries were described as less serious. Brunet said he didn't know if the soldiers were wearing uniforms at the time they were struck.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was briefed about the incident by the head of Canada's national police force, the head of the military and his national security adviser.

Harper said earlier Monday in Parliament that he was aware of the reports and called them "extremely troubling."

"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families; we're closely monitoring the situation and obviously we will make available all of the resources of the federal government," Harper said.

The case is similar to one in London, England, last year in which an al-Qaida-inspired extremist and another man ran over a soldier with a car before hacking the off-duty soldier to death. Images of Michael Adebolajo, 29, holding a butcher knife and cleaver with bloodied hands in the moments after the May 2013 killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby shocked people around the world and sparked fears of Islamist terrorism in Britain. 

   The self-described "soldier of Allah" was sentenced along with his accomplice to life in prison. The pair were convicted of murdering Rigby, 25, who was walking near his barracks in south London when the men ran him over with a car. They then dragged his body onto the road, and repeatedly stabbed him with knives.

The Islamic State group has urged supporters to carry out attacks against Western countries, including Canada, that are participating in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militants who have taken over large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. It was not known whether the suspect in the Quebec attack had any ties to Islamic militant groups.

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Gillies contributed form Toronto.