Who is John Maguire?

John Maguire, who urged his Muslim countrymen to carry out lone-wolf attacks on Canadian targets in a video released by ISIS on Dec. 7, grew up in Kemptville, Ont., and Ottawa.

Maguire urged Muslims in Canada to carry out lone-wolf attacks in video released Dec. 7

John Maguire, who was already reportedly under investigation by the RCMP after travelling to Syria to join ISIS as a foreign fighter in January 2013, appeared in a six-minute, 13-second video released by the militant group. (ISIS video still/CBC)

John Maguire, who urged his Muslim countrymen to carry out lone-wolf attacks on Canadian targets in a video released by ISIS on Dec. 7, is not the person his family "knew, loved and remember," according to a family member who spoke anonymously with CBC News.

Here's what we know about Maguire and his journey from a typical Canadian upbringing to life as a jihadist.

  • Name: John Douglas Maguire.
  • Aliases: Believed to be Yahya Maguire on Twitter; identified in ISIS video as Abu Anwar al-Canadi.
  • Age: 23.
    John Maguire has written online that he is going to have the 'reward of jihad' and 'the opportunity for martyrdom.' (Facebook)
  • Youth: Maguire grew up in Kemptville, Ont., about 50 kilometres south of Ottawa. His father was a mechanic who used the family garage as his auto shop, and his mother worked in a nursing home. He was one of two children and had a pet horse. He played guitar in a punk band called the Shackles, which held concerts in church basements. He also played hockey, an experience he references in the ISIS video.
  • Education: He attended North Grenville High School until Grade 11, when his parents divorced and he switched to Hillcrest High School in Ottawa, where he graduated in 2008. Two former friends said he got a scholarship to go to a university in Los Angeles in the fall of 2010. He returned to Ottawa and attended the University of Ottawa in the fall of 2011, they said.
  • Radicalization: His former friends said Maguire identified as a Muslim by the time he had returned from L.A. and that he started posting extreme viewpoints on Facebook.​ In previous online statements, he said he was going to have the "reward of jihad" and "the opportunity for martyrdom." The National Post reported in August 2014 that the RCMP questioned his family and friends and confirmed he had travelled to Syria "on a one-way ticket" in 2013.
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