While they may not have officially been designated as jihadists, two suspected extremists who killed Canadian soldiers in shooting and driving rampages followed instructions issued by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group to the letter. The country was left reeling on Wednesday after a gunman shot dead a soldier and stormed the parliament in Ottawa, just two days after another suspected Islamist militant ran over two military personnel with his car in Quebec, killing one. These acts appear to follow what al-Qaeda has been preaching for years through articles or videos posted online, calling on recruits and volunteers to go it alone without specific orders or training. Members of the group founded by Osama bin Laden had always been scattered across parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan among other nations and were the regular target of United States drone attacks, making it hard for them to group together all those who wanted to volunteer for jihad. As a result, in late 2010, the English-language jihadist magazine Inspire , published from Yemen by American Muslim convert Adam Gadahn, lauded individual jihad. "Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders ... So what are you waiting for?" he asked in a video posted online some time later to reinforce the message. In Inspire 's ninth edition in May 2012, al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Musab al-Suri wrote a detailed article about the tactics of individual jihad and possible targets, the first being "main political figures who lead the campaign against the Muslims such as the heads of states, ministers, military and security leaders". Next on his list of possibilities were "large strategic economic targets" and "military bases and barracks where the armies are concentrated, especially the American military bases in Europe". "The mujahid, the member of the resistance, practices individual jihad on his land, where he lives and resides, without the jihad costing him the hardship of travelling, migrating, and moving to where direct jihad is possible." In an eerie echo of that strategy, the Islamic State group also called on Muslims around the world last month to kill fellow citizens, particularly from countries that were part of an international coalition fighting the extremist organisation that controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. Experts have long warned against the danger of so-called "lone wolves" who are often so discreet before taking action that it is difficult to spot them. And since the emergence of Islamic State, candidates for jihad have been able to flock to territories under the organisation's control without too much difficulty, making the West nervous that they could return and wage attacks on home soil.