A Letter to Toronto Star re editorial "Hold CSIS to account"

posted on July 04, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Matthew Behrens Source: email fwd URL: N/A Date: July 1, 2008 A Letter to Toronto Star re: [link]

To the editor: While I agree with the Star's editorial supporting the Supreme Court's decision requiring CSIS to share ALL of its information in "security certificate" cases, your editorial nonetheless engages in the very kind of stereotyping that throws out the presumption of innocence and unfairly brands people. Specifically, you state that the court's ruling "reinforces the credibility of Canadian justice in dealing with those who hold our society in contempt." Why would you assume that those targetted by CSIS hold Canada in contempt, when in fact, it would appear that CSIS practices, such as destroying evidence or using information gleaned from torture, hold the values of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in contempt?

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The new CSIS Theory: Lone Wolves

posted on June 11, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Stewart Bell Source: The National Post URL: [link] Date: June 10, 2008 Csis Solo terrorists pose new threat: report Intelligence cites 'lone wolves' as emerging trend

A newly declassified Canadian intelligence report is warning about the emerging threat posed by "lone-wolf " Islamist terrorists who operate completely on their own. Terrorists inspired by al-Qaeda have, in the past, tended to work in cells, but the report says they are beginning to use the solo strategy once associated with the militant far right. "Lone wolves motivated by Islamist extremism are a recent development," it says. "Islamist terrorist strategists are now advocating that Muslims take action at a grassroots level, without waiting for instructions."

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Le SCRS et l'art de la manipulation médiatique

posted on April 15, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

par Alexandre Popovic Source: CMAQ URL: [link] Date: 1 septembre 2007 Le SCRS et l'art de la manipulation médiatique (1er d'une série de 5) Comment des informateurs du SCRS se sont fait passés pour des leaders de la communauté musulmane canadienne

Les cas de Youssef Mouammar et de Mubin Shaikh Par Alexandre Popovic MONTRÉAL, 1er septembre 2007. Ici comme ailleurs, la paranoïa collective du grand public est garante de l'épanouissement des services secrets. Plus la population devient craintive et peureuse, plus elle ressentira le besoin d'être protégée contre les diverses menaces, réelles ou fictives, qui planent sur sa sécurité. Et parmi ces organismes publics qui sont mandatés pour jouer ce rôle de protecteur, l'on retrouve les obscurs et énigmatiques, mais ô combien influents et puissants services secrets, dont la raison d'être consiste justement à identifier ces menaces qui pèsent contre la sécurité nationale. Plus la peur se répand parmi le grand public, moins les autorités gouvernementales se montrent hésitantes à donner carte blanche aux services secrets. Après tout, rien de mieux qu'une populace effrayée pour que les services secrets deviennent les enfants gâtés de l'État, de véritables chouchoux à qui l'on ne peut rien refuser. Les services secrets ont donc tout intérêt à veiller à ce que le climat de peur ne cesse jamais d'être alimenté.

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CSIS focused on terrorist radicalization at home

posted on March 19, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Ian MacLeod
Source: Canwest News Service (Canada.com)
URL: [link]
Date: March 13, 2008


OTTAWA - Countering the threat of terrorist radicalization at home is now the chief preoccupation of Canada's spy agency.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), in its latest annual report, says while the threat of terrorism from foreign extremists continues to pose the most immediate danger to Canada and Canadians, the agency's main focus is "terrorism inspired by the ideology of al-Qaida, and the issue of radicalization of citizens or residents."

CSIS played a critical role in last summer's arrests of several Toronto-area men and youths, all Canadians, charged by the RCMP with conspiring to bomb government buildings in the city and storm Parliament. The suspects deny the allegations.

"The radicalization issue is really on the top of the government's security agenda these days," says Wesley Wark, a visiting research professor at the University of Ottawa and co-director of the Institute for Research on Public Policy's Security and Democracy Project.

"That's partly a reflection of what they're learning from overseas allies and partners, particularly the British, partly with ongoing concerns about the prospect of some form of ultimate blowback from Canada's involvement in Afghanistan and partly a reflection of the internal cases that we've had including," the pending prosecutions against the Toronto group and accused Ottawa terrorist Momin Khawaja.

Jonathan Evans, head of Britain's domestic MI5 security service, recently spoke of al-Qaida recruiting teenagers there as young as 15. Other British officials say "self-radicalizing kids" have become a more threat than professional terrorist operatives from overseas.

Several of the biggest terror attacks and threats in the west in recent years - from the transit attacks in Madrid and London - have come from previously unremarkable, law-abiding citizens largely unknown to authorities.

But a CSIS study found a "very rapid process" is transforming some youths from angry activists into jihadist terrorists intent on killing for their religion.

The study, obtained last year by the National Post under the Access to Information Act, says a few have embraced terrorism with frightening speed after becoming enraged over what they perceive as a western "war on Islam" and being coaxed on by extremist preachers.

"The most important factor for radicalization is the perception that Islam is under attack from the West.

Jihadists also feel they must pre-emptively and violently defend Islam from these perceived enemies," it concludes.

They are also one of the most difficult types of terrorists for security services to counter, forcing security intelligence and law enforcement to shift strategies.

The CSIS report, meanwhile, notes:

. The agency in 2006-07 countered "the efforts of state and non-state actors to acquire materials or technology in Canada that could be used for producing weapons of mass destruction." No details are offered.

MORE -->

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Spy watchdog fingers CSIS on torture data

posted on February 14, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

By Jim Bronskill (CP)
Source: The London Free Press
URL: [link]
Date: February 13, 2008


OTTAWA -- An investigation by the watchdog over the Canadian Security Intelligence Service concludes the spy agency "uses information obtained by torture" -- perhaps its bluntest assessment of CSIS's intelligence-gathering practices to date.

The Security Intelligence Review Committee, which began looking into the issue two years ago, stops short of accepting Toronto lawyer Paul Copeland's assertion CSIS had shown a "total lack of concern" about evidence possibly gathered through coercive means.

But it finds that CSIS's concern has focused on the impact torture might have on the reliability of information it uses, rather than obligations under the Charter of Rights, the Criminal Code and international treaties "that absolutely reject torture."

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NATIONAL POST: Charkaoui told CSIS about jihad recruiting

posted on January 23, 2008 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

By Graeme Hamilton
Source: The National Post
URL: [link]
Date: January 23, 2008

MONTREAL - In a previously undisclosed interview with CSIS investigators, alleged al-Qaeda sleeper agent Adil Charkaoui described how members of Montreal's Arab community were recruiting people for jihad before 9/11.

"Charkaoui explained that many are called but few are chosen. It's a funnel effect," according to a summary of the April, 2001, interview with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, just added to the court record.

"The person responsible for recruitment attends certain nerve centres, such as mosques. Someone whom the recruiter considers to have potential will be invited to meetings where he will be exposed to certain activities having to do with jihad. The person is tested. If any flaw is detected related to the security that he must respect to participate in jihad activities, he will be expelled from the group immediately."

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Even terrorists have rights, watchdog tells spy service

posted on October 31, 2007 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Colin Freeze Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: October 31, 2007 CSIS

Canada's intelligence watchdog has put the country's spies on notice: Even "despicable" terrorists have fundamental rights that must not be ignored. In an usually sharp and detailed public rebuke, the Security Intelligence Review Committee took a principled stand yesterday, by taking Canada's domestic spy service to task for overstepping its powers in a 2002 investigation. In its latest annual report, SIRC complains that Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents with no powers of arrest "arbitrarily detained" a 20-year-old al-Qaeda suspect involved in plotting bombings in Southeast Asia. Once it became clear there were no terrorism charges to lay in Canada, the report says, CSIS encouraged the suspect to cross the border - without reading him his rights, without encouraging him to call a lawyer and without any apparent regard for his right to stay in Canada.

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CSIS visits can be chilling

posted on August 21, 2007 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: forward via "Justice for Adil" Source: Coalition Justice pour Adil Charkaoui Listserv URL: N/A Date: August 21, 2007 Reminder: Don't forget to come out to Federal Court (30 McGill St.) , Montreal, on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday of this week, as Adil Charkaoui challenges the criminal leak of top secret information in his case.

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CSIS visits can be chilling
by Sikander Hashmi The Montreal Gazette URL: [link] August 18, 2007 Dorchester Square is where many workers catch some fresh air at lunch or after work. But it's at this downtown "oasis of greenery," as Tourism Montreal calls it, that Big Brother met up with accountant "Latif Ihram" after work one day. Actually, make that Big Sister. The park is where the 27-year-old was questioned by a CSIS agent who goes by the name Christie Hamilton, after she called asking for an appointment. Ihram (whose name has been changed to protect his privacy) said Hamilton was interested in knowing who ran halaqahs (religious study circles) on the South Shore and in the West Island, and wanted names of others who might be of interest to CSIS - information he wasn't prepared to offer. But Ihram says it was Hamilton who spoke more than he did, justifying the meeting and stating "she wasn't discriminating against Muslims." Hamilton, who Ihram commends for being polite and not accusing him of anything, even told him her parents and grandparents were Irish and that they, too, felt targeted in the 1970s, when the IRA was active.

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CSIS seeks spy's identity

posted on November 18, 2006 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Michelle Shephard Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] Date: November 17, 2006 CSIS

'Russian' accused of espionage Suspect carried fake documents

The Canadian government has detained a suspected Russian spy by using the controversial security certificate legislation now under review by the Supreme Court. The move has surprised those who believed the days of Cold War espionage were long gone. The unidentified man was arrested at Pierre Trudeau International Airport in Montreal Tuesday night and is accused of using a false identity and "engaging in the act of espionage." He is listed on the security certificate as Paul William Hampel, the bogus name he was allegedly using on his Canadian travel documents. Agents with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service are reportedly trying to ascertain his identity, as a federal court judge reviews the evidence presented by the spy service. His first court appearance will be Wednesday in Montreal. While government sources confirmed the man is accused of spying for Russia, a spokesperson for Russia's embassy in Ottawa dismissed the suggestion yesterday as "ridiculous." "I don't see any connection," said Alexey Lisemkov, the embassy's press secretary. "All I can see are speculations about his nationality." No Canadian government officials, including those from CSIS, have contacted the embassy since the Tuesday night arrest, Lisemkov said.

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CSIS kept tabs on 274 terror suspects last year

posted on October 29, 2006 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Jeff Sallot Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: October 27, 2006 CSIS

OTTAWA — The Canadian Security Intelligence Service had 274 individual terrorist suspects in its sights last year, according to a new government report that identifies Islamic extremism as the biggest terrorist threat facing Canada. A total of 31 organizations came under suspicion and were targeted for investigation by the CSIS anti-terrorism branch, the report says. The numbers are contained in a report released Thursday by the Security Intelligence Review Committee, a watchdog panel that oversees CSIS operations. This is the first time SIRC has published the numbers of targets formally authorized for investigation by senior CSIS managers.

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