Although the most recent acts of terror in Canada came as a surprise to most, they are not unprecedented: a large-scale attack was foiled in 2006, and two more in 2013. Canada is home to at least 80 individuals who returned after joining terrorist organizations abroad. The caliph of Islamic State recently called on Muslims in Canada (and elsewhere) to kill “non-believers,” and an IS video explicitly suggested running people over with cars. As Jonathan D. Halevi writes:
The choice of Canada as a terror target is part of the overall strategy of the Islamic State and the other radical Islamic organizations to weaken the West, dissuade it from a military campaign against radical Islam, and remove all Western presence from the Middle East and Muslim countries. The goal is to expand the caliphate’s borders so as to enable an anti-Western jihad campaign that will bring about global Islamization. The success of the terror attacks in Canada will likely encourage terror groups in the United States, which is Islamic State’s supreme target, to carry out domestic attacks.