very shocking and tragic news of the shooting that killed Cpl Nathan Cirillo has led to a heightened threat alert, coming fairly soon after another possibly-jihad-motivated death of a Canadian soldier, WO Patrice Vincent, in a hit-and-run incident.
It looks, to me, anyway, probable that the shooter, Michael Zahaf-Bibeau, was acting as a "lone wolf" in this scenario, and actually, some of what that last link suggests to me is that he was something like the DC sniper killers or Nidal Hassan--talking about jihad is something tangential to whatever motive really resulted in the rampage. It's like an excuse. There's Christian mass killers and killers of no particular obvious religious bent. It looks to me like sometimes, a person just has a predisposition to do some horrible thing, and they fill in the blanks with whatever mental salve lets them justify it.
Sometimes I think, as a species, our unique ability as reasoning animals is our ability to perform homicide with vast and colorful justifications for it. We do absurd things. Sometimes for religion--or something almost like it. Sometimes for other fantasies--weirder ones.
There may be some reactionaries who will look at this particular incident and single out the Muslim community or say it must be in sympathy with the current jihadist bogeyman of the moment, but frankly, I give a bit of credence to the people who knew this person and thought that he was mentally heading in a bad way--which is a thing that people actually can do. (I am also concerned about his mention of Shaytan--I tend to see "The Devil made me do it" as a universal permission-slip for the homicidally-tended.) But I don't think these two incidents are a pattern, as such, for terrorism. They are more like the senseless, regular violence we see in the world today.
And no, this is not to excuse it at all.