A Canadian convert to Islam has appeared in a recent video by the Islamic State (IS) militant group warning that Canadians will be "indiscriminately targeted" in attacks unless Canada backs out of the U.S.-led coalition against IS.
The fighter, named in the video as Abu Anwar al-Canadi ("the Canadian"), is identified in Canadian news reports as Ottawa native John Maguire.
Maguire speaks in English in the six-minute video, which was shared on social media on December 7. The footage is shot against a backdrop of bombed-out buildings and a mosque and is subtitled in Arabic.
He says that the recent terror attacks in Canada are a "direct response" to Canada's participation in the U.S.-led coalition against IS and that Canadians have "absolutely no right to live in a state of safety and security when your country is carrying out atrocities on our people."
"O, people of Canada! You are said to be an educated people. So what is preventing you from being able to put two and two together and understanding that operations such as that of brother Ahmad Rouleau of Montreal and the storming of Parliament Hill in Ottawa are carried out in direct response to your participation in the coalition of nations preaching war against the Muslim people," Maguire says.
Maguire goes on to say that Canada should not be surprised when "operations by the Muslims are executed where it hurts you the most. On your very own soil. In retaliation for your unprovoked acts of aggression towards our people."
The Canadian IS militant was referring to two recent terror attacks in Canada. The first, in October, was allegedly perpetrated by a 25-year-old man named as Martin "Ahmad" Rouleau who rammed his vehicle into two Canadian Forces members in Montreal. One of the victims, Patrice Vincent, was killed in the attack.
The Canadian authorities had been tracking Rouleau and had seized his passport to prevent him leaving the country.
The second attack Maguire referred to was the October 22 shooting of a soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, in Ottawa. The suspect, Michael Joseph Hall, had recently converted to Islam, reports said.
The video also offers insights into the beliefs of a Western convert to IS's version of Islam and who was radicalized in a Western country before coming to Syria. It sheds light onto this extremist version of Islam and the Islamic State's belief's regarding the battle of the United States and its allies against IS militants.
Maguire offers another message to his fellow countrymen: unless they convert to Islam they will "burn in eternal hellfire."
Maguire talks about his conversion and radicalization experience in Canada.
"I was one of you. I was a typical Canadian. I grew up on the hockey rink and spent my teenage years on stage playing guitar. I had no criminal record. I was a bright student and maintained a strong GPA in university. So how could one of your people end up in my place?" Maguire says.
Maguire answers his own question by explaining that he has "accepted the true call of the prophets and the messengers of God...I sincerely advise you to read the Koran and search for the truth yourself."
Maguire also addresses Muslims in Canada, saying they have no right to live in that country unless they "fight in Allah's cause."
According to Maguire, the claims by Western leaders that the fight against IS is a fight against terrorism are lies, and that the West is actually fighting Islam. The West is waging a war against Muslims, he says, and is seeking to turn Muslims "away from their religion."
Canadian Muslims have "one of two options...you either pack your bags [to travel to Syria] or prepare your explosive devices. You either purchase your airline ticket or you sharpen your knife," Maguire tells Canadian Muslims.
As a member of the U.S.-led coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq, Canada has carried out a number of air strikes against the militants in Iraq, deploying six CF-18 warplanes, a CP-150 Polaris, and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told the Associated Press on December 6 that Canada had a responsibility to contribute to the U.S.-led air strikes against IS because the extremist group had attracted Canadian citizens to its ranks.
The release of "Message from a Mujahid" also comes amid reports that Canadians are joining Kurdish militia forces in Syria and Iraq to fight against Islamic State.
Among them is Canadian army veteran Dillon Hiller, a former Alberta construction worker.
A group of Canadians has recently created a support group, the 1st North American Expeditionary Force, to provide information and assistance for Canadians who want to travel to Syria and Iraq to join the Kurdish militia forces battling IS militants, including in Kobani.
-- Joanna Paraszczuk