The Canadian government is investigating reports that an Ottawa man fighting for the Islamic State group, or ISIS, in Syria has been killed, according to CTV reports.
John Maguire, a 23-year-old University of Ottawa student, left Canada in 2013 to join the terrorist group. He has been reported killed in northern Syria by a pro-ISIS Twitter account.
The Prime Minister’s Office is aware of reports of Maguire’s death and is “seeking additional information on them,” CTV reported Wednesday.
The Public Safety Minister’s office, in a statement to the Star, was unable to comment on Maguire’s case specifically, but re-iterated that it is a criminal offence for anyone to go overseas and engage in terrorism, reminding the public that anyone who decides to join ISIS “runs the risk of meeting their ultimate demise.”
Maguire, a convert to Islam who went by “Abu Anwar Al-Canadi” and “Yahya,” had appeared in a pro-ISIS propaganda video in December, addressing Canadians directly, calling on Muslims to join the cause and warning of attacks at home in response to Canada’s military involvement in Iraq.
Canada is part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, which controls much of Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, three ISIS recruits from Edmonton have also reportedly been killed, according to the father of one of the men, CBC reported on Wednesday.
Ahmed Hirsi’s 20-year-old son Mahad Hirsi, and his two cousins, Hamsa and Hersi Kariye, left Edmonton in 2013 without telling him, he said.
They died last fall while fighting for ISIS, along with another cousin from Minnesota, he told CBC.
But other family members deny the men died while fighting for the militants.
- With files from Michelle Shephard