OTTAWA—Newly disclosed documents show a top-secret federal report—kept under wraps for over a decade—criticized Canada’s spy agency for shortcomings as its members increasingly travelled overseas to interrogate people in foreign prisons in the name of fighting terrorism.
The report warned that new practices were needed because Canadians held abroad had little recourse if tortured by a foreign government.
Changing up a fitness routine, getting rid of personal belongings and repaying debts are among a list of signs Canada’s spy agency says could show someone is taking steps toward terrorist activity — but the public should be wary of these so-called “indicators,” says one expert on radicalization.
The findings were made public in a new report by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that studied approximately 100 people who “mobilized to violence” in Canada, the majority travelling overseas “for extremist purposes” such as joining ISIS.
The report says it focuses not on why a person may become radicalized, but rather on how someone goes from radicalization to preparing for violent action, such as plotting an attack or travelling to join a terror group.
A federal court judge has ruled that Canada’s domestic spy agency can continue to use contentious cellphone surveillance devices without a warrant, in some cases.
For several years, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has used a device it calls a Cell Site Simulator (CSS) to collect information about cellphones and other cellular-capable devices — such as some laptops or tablets — during its national security investigations.
The devices are perhaps better known as IMSI Catchers or Stingrays, and pretend to be legitimate cellphone towers in order to collect information. Privacy advocates have long criticized the technology for how it indiscriminately gathers data, not merely on the subject of an investigation, but on all of the cellular devices in its operating radius.
OTTAWA — Canada’s spy agency is asking the Federal Court to dismiss a lawsuit from five Toronto employees, saying it never engaged in or tolerated religious bigotry, used derogatory nicknames or subjected the staffers to reprisals.
In a statement of defence filed with the court late Friday, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service admits “inappropriate language” was used by service employees in informal communications in the Toronto region.
There’s a myth that needs to be shattered when Canadians imagine the standard template of a radicalized terrorist, according to Canadian terrorism expert Phil Gurski.
Many people believe the usual profile of a terrorist is a disenfranchised and alienated young man who came from a bad home environment, is poorly educated, has poor job prospects and may have some mental health issues.
“It couldn’t be any further from the truth,” said Gurski, who spent 15 years at CSIS, specializing in al-Qaida-inspired extremism and radicalization.
TORONTO — A previously unknown unit of Canada’s intelligence service has been illegally keeping data unrelated to national security threats, the Federal Court disclosed Thursday.
In a hard-hitting ruling that was partly blacked out, Justice Simon Noel rebuked the Canadian Security Intelligence Service for not telling the court about a secret metadata program launched in 2006.
The Operational Data Analysis Centre was unknown even to the judges who had been issuing the warrants to collect the information it mined, according to Noel’s ruling.
OTTAWA — Interception of Canadians’ private communications by the federal electronic spy agency increased 26-fold last year, for reasons authorities won’t fully explain.
And despite commitments between Canada and its intelligence-sharing allies to respect the privacy of each nation’s citizens, the volume of information on Canadians collected by allied intelligence agencies and informally shared with Canada’s spies has grown to the point that it now requires a formal mechanism to cope with all the data.
At least one intelligence expert is concerned the change sidesteps the spirit of Canadian privacy laws.
OTTAWA—CSIS agents have used the extraordinary powers of Bill C-51 to disrupt suspected terrorist threats nearly two dozen times since last autumn, even as public and political debate over the new terror law still rages, Canada’s top spy revealed Monday.
2 dozen threats is a fair number for such a short period, I wonder what group could be behind this.
And the cost is skyrocketing: “Coulombe said 50-55 per cent of CSIS resources are now focused on counter-terrorism efforts”, that’s a lot of money to spend on something they can’t name.
The Star story doesn’t say and neither does CSIS.
Was it the Japs?
We may never know.
All I can say is thank goodness it wasn’t Muslims, the thought of Justin apologizing in a Mosque on behalf of terrorists, again, just brings me to tears.
PS. The original pic (pre-shop) accompanying this post is of Hezbollah supporters prancing about at Queens Park in Toronto that I took at the annual Muslim family fun event known as Al Quds day.
Justin’s adviser and Muslim 5th columnist Omar Alghabra headed CAF an organization which fought to have the Jew Hating murders kept off the list of terrorist organizations.
Michel Coulombe, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told a Commons committee today that Canada’s spy agency has used new disruption powers it was granted when Bill C-51 became law this past summer.
This marks the first time CSIS has publicly acknowledged the use of its new powers under the Anti-terrorism Act to disrupt suspected plots rather than just relay information about those plots to the federal government and the RCMP
Canada has stopped sharing intel with its allies after it discovered that its citizens’ metadata wasn’t properly disguised. The defense minister said it would resume sharing intel when adequate measures are put in place.
The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) – Canada’s equivalent of the US National Security Agency (NSA) – passed information containing Canadian citizens’ metadata to its counterparts in the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, a federal watchdog said Thursday.
But wait there’s more… CSIS repeatedly obtained confidential taxpayer data without warrants, watchdog says
Leaks from Mohammed al-Rashed’s police statement published in Turkish media outlets revealed how he aided three UK girls and other foreign nationals to cross into Syria to join the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Rashed was apprehended on February 28 by Turkish security forces. Along with many documents and information found on his possession and in his laptop, a video showing Rashed aiding three missing British girls, Shamima Begum, 15, Amira Abase, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, was also found.
According to the police statement, Rashed came into contact with Canadian officials in 2013 when he sought for asylum in Canada. Rashed said that Canadian officials asked for information regarding ISIS’ operations in return for citizenship.
OTTAWA – Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is trying to assure Canadians that proposed anti-terrorism measures won’t run roughshod over civil liberties.
In his testimony Tuesday at committee hearings examining the federal legislation, Blaney dismissed concerns the new provisions would allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to squelch or infiltrate environmental protests that fall outside the letter of the law.
The planned measures are needed to protect the public from extremists who hate Canadian values, Blaney said during a meeting of the House of Commons public safety committee.
The international jihadi movement has “declared war on Canada” and other countries around the world, Blaney told MPs Tuesday as they began hearing testimony on the federal legislation.
The committee plans to hear from more than 50 witnesses over the next few weeks.
The federal government is poised to make it easier to track and arrest potential terrorists, amid reports that a man who appears on an ISIL propaganda video could have Canadian roots.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday the government is planning to give police and national security agencies “additional tools” that would make it easier to monitor threats, as well as charge and prosecute people planning to carry out attacks on Canadian soil.
Harper was short on details on the proposal first referenced in his speech to the House of Commons last week where he urged Canada to join airstrikes against Islamic State extremists in Iraq. Government officials wouldn’t say Thursday when Canadians would have a look at the measures Harper alluded to.