On the afternoon of August 10, 2016, police confronted Aaron Driver outside his house in Strathroy, Ont. as he was leaving to carry out a bombing in support of the so-called Islamic State. Cornered, he triggered an explosion and police shot him dead.
Almost a year later, two investigations into the terrorist incident are still underway, Global News has learned. Both the RCMP and the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario are continuing to examine aspects of the failed ISIS-inspired bomb plot.
Police have said little about the investigation since last August, and would not reveal what kind of device they were working on reconstructing, or whether it was used to detonate the explosion, but an expert said even electronics damaged by a bomb could yield crucial evidence.
“It depends on where the hard drive was damaged. You’d be surprised but those storage devices are extremely resilient. So when you look at a phone or an iPad and they get damaged, the device can be crumpled up, it doesn’t matter. Still data can be recovered,” said Daniel Tobok, a digital forensics expert and CEO of Cypfer Inc.
But he said the work, done by highly specialized members of technical crime units, can take a long time. In one case, it took 18 months to put a device back together following an explosion, he said. “It’s a very tedious process requiring lots of expertise and patience.”
While there’s no guarantee police will succeed in extracting data from a damaged device, he said in a terrorist case they would be hoping to identify plans, associates and financiers.