A Canadian jihadist urged his Muslim countrymen to carry out lone wolf attacks in the country, in a video released by the Islamic State (Isis) group that prompted authorities' calls for the nation to remain alert.

A man identified by relatives and media as John Maguire, 23, from Ottawa, appears in a six-minute recording circulated online by Isis propaganda machine - the al-I'tisaam Media Foundation.

Sporting a beard and a headscarf, he threatens that Canadians will be "indiscriminately targeted" in retaliation for their government's involvement in a US-led coalition against Isis.

"You have absolutely no right to live in a state of safety and security," Maguire, who in the footage is referred to by his nom de guerre, Abu Anwar al-Canadi, says, speaking in front of some ruins and a mosque at an unidentified location in Iraq or Syria.

The militant praises two separate Islamist attacks in Montreal and Ottawa that resulted in the deaths of two Canadian servicemen in October and calls on Canadian Muslims to launch more or travel to Isis-held areas in the Middle East to join fighting.

"You either pack your bags or you prepare your explosive devices," he said. "You either purchase your airline ticket or you sharpen your knife."

Maguire was born in Kemptville, Ontario and moved to the capital in his high-school years, local media reported. He converted to Islam and drifted towards radicalism while attending university, friends told CBC News.

In the video, Maguire talks of his past as a "typical Canadian" who loved music and hockey, in an attempt to lure more of his countrymen to jihad, by normalising it.

"I grew up on the hockey rink and spent my teenage years on stage playing guitar," he says.

"I had no criminal record. I was a bright student and maintained a strong GPA in university. So how could one of your people end up in my place? ... The answer is that we have accepted the true call of the prophets and messengers of God."

Before travelling to Syria, Maguire dreamt of making the NHL and played bass in a punk band, family members told the National Post newspaper.

He grew up in an abusive household and at some point decided quit his parents' house, moving in with his grandparents, the paper reported.

The video release comes two months after Canada was shocked by two deadly attacks carried out by Isis sympathisers, Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

Rouleau was shot dead by police after running down two soldiers, killing one, with his car near Montreal in October.

A few days later, and Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa, before firing shots inside the Canadian parliament. He was also killed by authorities.

In the video Maguire says both actions were "in direct response" to Canada's participation in an air strike campaign against Isis, which the group has attempted to portray as a western "crusade" against Muslims.

Commenting on the footage, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Canadians must remain vigilant.

"That is why we are taking part in the coalition that is currently conducting air strikes against Isil [another acronym for Isis], and supporting the security forces in Iraq in their fight against this terrorist scourge," he said, CBC reported.