Muslim institutions in London, Ont., are keeping their distance as funeral arrangements are underway for a terrorist sympathizer killed in a high-stakes police standoff in a nearby community.
A spokesman for the London Muslim Mosque says the organization is offering support to Aaron Driver's family and advice on planning the service according to Islamic traditions, which is expected to be held Thursday.
But Nawaz Tahir says the ceremony will not be held at any Muslim institution in the city, nor will any local imam preside, acknowledging there were concerns over appearing to be associated with someone linked to terrorism.
In a statement issued after last week's takedown, the mosque said it had taken notice of Driver and his views more than a year ago and had tried to steer him away from extremism.
A screen capture from video footage of Aaron Driver, shown during a press conference on Aug. 11, 2016. (Photo: Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)
"We engaged him with the hope of changing his views on Islam and to show him the true, peaceful nature of our religion," the statement read. "We constantly monitored his activities within the mosque and did our best to keep the authorities engaged with our activities.
Driver, 24, died during a confrontation with RCMP in Strathroy, Ont., last Wednesday after making a martyrdom video that suggested he was planning to detonate a homemade bomb in an urban centre.
Ontario Provincial Police, who took over the investigation into his death, said Tuesday he died from a gunshot wound, but gave no other details. The investigation into the incident is also ongoing.
Aaron Driver leaves the Winnipeg Law Courts on Feb. 2, 2016. (Photo: John Woods/Canadian Press)
Driver had been under a court order not to associate with any terrorist organizations or to use a computer or cellphone. But he wasn't under continuous surveillance despite concern he might participate or contribute to the activity of a terrorist group.
He moved to Strathroy earlier this year to live with his sister.
Canadian authorities were tipped off about his activities by the FBI and confronted him hours later.
Aaron Driver's father has said his son was a troubled child but appeared to have turned his life around after converting to Islam. But then the father said CSIS contacted him in January 2015 about disturbing posts his son had made on social media.