News Archive

Canada And Terror

by msecadm4921

Tony Stead reviews the Canadian response to countering terror. He recently completed the University of St Andrews’s Certificate in Terrorism Studies. You can contact Tony, pictured, through Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/in/tonystead.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) report (2000:1) highlights that “Over the past 30 years, Canadians have been touched by several acts of terrorism, each with unique motives and means”. The report states that to counter terrorist activities, Canada has “developed a response to terrorism that meets the challenge of a serious and perpetually evolving threat” (2000:1). The response was the CSIS Act. <br><br>Various commentators present that legislators who drafted the CSIS Act recognised that whilst Canadians found terrorism unacceptable, that Canada remained a frequent destination for international terrorists. The Act therefore is said to seek to deter terrorism and those who affect national integrity whilst upholding international obligations.<br><br>Politically, Canada’s identifies terrorism as a global phenomenon, arguing and the struggle against it must therefore be carried to the world stage (Saighal, 2003). The 1999 Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence found that "to be effective, the fight against terrorism must be through a united international front" (Select Committee, 1999: 5). <br><br>Canada is considered to have been proactively leading in countering international terrorism since 1963, when it was the first signatory to the 1963 Tokyo Convention on Offences on Board Aircraft, related to aircraft hijackings. Since then, Canada has been a party to conferences and consultations at the G8, P8 and bilateral levels, and has signed each of the eleven other international conventions on combating terrorism. Recently, Canada signed the 1998 Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing Offences and the 1999 Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. <br><br>The CSIS Act requires CSIS to investigate activities deemed to be:<br><br>“directed towards or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political objective within Canada or a foreign state”<br><br>(Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, 1985:25)<br><br>Mitigating any potential threat requires the investigating of individuals or groups based on two principles by firstly “maintaining vigilance towards groups which are known, both nationally and internationally, to use or threaten violence in the pursuit of political objectives” and, secondly, “to identify individuals and groups in Canada who are suspected of working with terrorists in support of their activity” (CSIS Act, 1985:26).<br><br>The Canadian government has banned nearly 40 terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, the Armed Islamic Group, Babbar Khalsa, the Palestine Liberation Front, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Kahane Chai, the Taliban and Mujahedin e-Khalq (www.Ynetnews.com). Canada is reported to maintain strong ties with Israel and was the first government to cut ties with the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won the 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza (Jager, 2011:1).<br><br>Canada seeks to discourage politically motivated violence and to prevent the spread of conflicts to Canada or the provision of Canadian support to conflicts abroad. CSIS (2000:7) presents evidence where support networks in Canada have been directly linked to parental organisations and their hostile activities abroad, highlighting that “terrorist support here [Canada] contribute to group activities internationally, and when those activities trigger retaliation, violence can reverberate in Canada”. Such activities have impacted on Canadian citizens abroad and at home.<br><br>The threat to Canada from international terrorism is forever changing. CSIS state that Canada must continue its efforts to thwart terrorist activities both those directed at Canada and those targeting foreign states from Canadian territory (www.pco-bcp.gc.ca).<br><br>Canada recognises that terrorism is a long-term global challenge which demands a consistent, comprehensive and coordinated international response (www.international.gc.ca).<br><br>Counter-Terrorism<br><br>Following 9/11 Canada reacted swiftly in passing the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Act bore similarities to the US’s Patriot Act, increasing investigative powers which extended to encompass terrorist financing (Parliament of Canada, 2001).<br><br>Many counter-terror initiatives are in cooperation with the USA focusing on the border regions. The federal government instituted a 32-point Smart Border Action Declaration with the purpose of expanding and developing enforcement teams (Collacott, 2006). Collacott (ibid) argues the 32-point strategy is seen to be failing, presenting a survey of media reports on 25 Islamic terrorists and suspects who entered Canada as adults indicated that 16 claimed refugee status, four were admitted as landed immigrants and the channel of entry for the remaining five was not identified.<br><br>Canada’s counter-terrorism strategy recognises that a military component cannot solely define international efforts. Adopting a similar approach as the UK’s CONTEST strategy, particularly with Prevent, Canada’s multi-faceted approach to counter terrorism combines the numerous tools available to the government including law enforcement, customs and immigration, financial expertise, diplomacy, intelligence, police and security. Canada states that “all of our domestic and international efforts must support good governance and be grounded in the rule of law” (www.international.gc.ca).<br><br>Canada did bear the brunt of international condemnation for an initial lack of clarity in defining terrorists and terrorist activity due to concerns of confusing protestors and terrorists (www.privacyinternational.com) <br><br>Externally, Canada’s counter terror strategy can be seen to embrace cooperation amongst leading organisations including the United Nations (UN), the G8, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).<br><br>Internally, the government utilises the resources of Public Safety Canada (PSC), whose responsibilities include Emergency Management, National Security, Crime Prevention, Law Enforcement and Corrections Policy. Their website highlights that “a variety of factors can cause emergencies, such as natural disasters, industrial accidents, terrorism and computer viruses. Whatever the causes, PSC works to reduce their impact” (www.publicsafety.gc.ca). <br><br>In its 2006 CSIS report, Director Ward Elcock stated that “with perhaps the singular exception of the United States, there are more international terrorist groups active here that in any country in the world… a relatively large number of terrorist groups are known to be operating in Canada, engaged in fundraising, procuring materials, spreading propaganda, recruiting followers and conducting other activities (Desloges, 2011:2).<br><br>At the time, Elcock claimed to be investigating 50 organisations and 350 individuals within Canada with alleged ties to terrorism. The Senate Subcommittee on Security and Intelligence called Canada a “venue of opportunity” for international terrorists (Bell, 2007:4)<br><br>The PSC website offers insight in to current strategies, methods and planning of the national emergency management system for emergencies impacting upon critical infrastructure, cyber security, proactive disaster mitigation, emergency management planning, emergency preparedness, recovery, response and regional operations.<br><br>Canada’s Intelligence cycle contains the 5 key stages of Government Direction, Planning, Collection, Analysis and finally, Dissemination. <br><br>Receiving regular direction from government on intelligence priorities is a main characteristic that distinguishes CSIS from a police organisation. Police agencies will conduct criminal investigations based on law. Security intelligence work is rooted in government priorities formulated within CSIS Act (www.csis-scrs.gc.ca).<br><br>Planning encompasses the entire intelligence process, beginning with the threat assessments and culminating with the delivery of intelligence products. All plans are geared to meet the government’s security intelligence requirements.<br><br>The collection of intelligence is the preliminary phase of the CSISs advisory role. Open-source information is combined with Human Intelligence (HUMINT), alongside operations that monitor suspects and organisations.<br><br>Analysis is conducted within CSIS utilising regional knowledge, national and global trends to assess the quality of all information gathered, for organisation in to useful intelligence. The CSIS Act designates the Government of Canada as the main recipient of CSIS intelligence. <br><br>Additional resources available to the government include The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), National Defence Canada, Transport Canada, Department of Finance, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada.<br><br>The Anti-terrorism Act (ATA) (2001) is one of several pieces of legislation, including CSIS, that form the Government of Canada’s overall anti-terrorism strategy. The structure of the Act requires a comprehensive review within 3 years. There have been continued cyclic reviews since, with the most recent published by the House of Commons Subcommittee titled ‘Rights, Limits, Security: A Comprehensive Review of the Anti-terrorism Act and Related Issues’ (2007).<br><br>The independent review process brings scrutiny to government, its policies and the deployment of its security services to ensure that the best needs of the nation are being met within legal parameters.<br><br>Bell (ibid:17) continues to argue that the Canadian government response since 9/11 is “obvious”, and more an appeasement of the international community rather than a proactive and risk-based approach which should be bespoke to the needs of Canada. Bell (ibid:12) cites Bill Graham, former Minister of Foreign Affairs resistance to outlaw Hezbollah in Canada because he believed them to be a collaboration of “teachers, doctors and farmers”, as representative of many Canadians, but the weakness of any security strategy.<br> <br><br><br>The Police Services<br><br>CSIS is Canada’s lead agency for national security matters. It responds to direction from its government. CSIS is a federal agency which conducts national security investigations and security intelligence collection at home and abroad. CSIS collects and analyzes intelligence and advises the Government of Canada on issues and activities that may threaten the security of Canada (www.csis-scrs.gc.ca). CSIS primary responsibilities are categorized as Intelligence collection and analysis, the Sharing of Intelligence, Security screening, the Sharing information with the public and finally to Reach out to experts.<br><br>Research has been unable to quantify the size in manpower terms of Canada’s Police and Intelligence Services.<br><br>Crawford (2011:1) states the National Police Service (NPS) are facing a multi-million dollar shortfall which will have a high impact on its operational capability. Citing documents found by CBC News, Crawford suggests NPS funding has decreased by roughly $20 million since 2006/2007. Deputy Commissioner Line Carbonneau, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) called the situation unsustainable (www.CBCnews.com)<br><br>The RCMP website provides updates on wanted criminals and terrorists, whilst also presenting documentation on radicalisation, security and cultural issues. The topic of terrorism is openly discussed along with strategies for countering all elements of criminal activity (www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca). The strategy of the website appears to empower and encourage the population to report what they deem to be suspicious activity; highlighting the logistic and geographic difficulty in policing the US border. <br><br>Mehmet’s (2007:3) lambasting comments that “there are huge problems with Canadian police and the security services when it comes to protection against international terrorism”, have arguably been contested by successful counter-terror operations (www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca). The RCMP with other government agencies boasts success with the recent arrest of an Al Qaeda cell in Ontario in an undercover operation ‘Samosa’ (Cuddlington, 2010). <br><br>Analysis<br><br>It should be noted that Canada faces a very unique threat from terrorism which cannot and should not be compared to any other nation in the world. <br><br>The dynamics of Canada, including its history of welcoming diverse cultures from all corners of the globe, coupled with being geographically based north of USA which remains arguably a prime target for many hostile terror groups. Within this dynamic, the historic culture of welcoming immigrants has never truly been brought to question providing settlers complied with laws and cultures within Canada.<br><br>From this background it is possible to identify reasons, endorsed by the security services, for hostile groups to plant active supporter cells within immigrant communities in Canada for fundraising and recruitment purposes.<br><br>The events of 9/11 and a few smaller scale internal terror attacks have given Canada cause to review its internal security practices in order to enhance its counter terrorism policy.<br><br>Converse to an arguably slow internal security drive, and with some contradiction, Canada has been seen to be a strong and leading actor in supporting global peace initiatives, deploying its Forces in support of United Nation and NATO operations when necessary, whilst also a leading signatory for numerous ratification processes.<br><br>Canada can no longer turn a blind eye to hostile or support activities of its residents linked to wars or causes in other states.<br><br>Analysis found resistance within the media and government to the implementation of a Counter Terror strategy which impacts upon the status quo of established communities within Canada. Immigration controls now have an interest in to individual immigrant history and activity once established in Canada, this had previously been unheard of.<br><br>Yet, no sooner does the CSIS Act get enforced that the media now berate the government for not doing enough to counter terror.<br><br>Canada’s security approach adopts elements of USAs Patriot Act and UKs CONTEST strategies. Research found equal commentary regarding the success and failings of such strategies. The media present that constraints placed on previously unhindered community lifestyles and networks infringe upon Human Rights, raising arguments of freedoms versus security.<br><br>Recent revelations regarding budget cuts within the NSIS and government services, if true, will undoubtedly have an detrimental impact operationally. Exactly how detrimental is yet to be seen, however, it is reasonable to consider that policing a widely displaced population equal to half the size of the United Kingdom’s, in a land mass up to 40 times larger (www.mongabay.com), whilst also controlling an 8,891 Km border region remains a mammoth task for any capable force.<br><br>Canada potentially faces a time of turbulence as it addresses internal security concerns. The bi-product of its historical open-door immigration policy is that there are many cultures settled within its national confines, yet, security forces acknowledge that elements of such groups actively support terror events across the globe. There is evidence that some immigrants are wanted for previous terror activities.<br><br>Canada may be seen as being on the back foot and hypocritical as its external policy and international standing arguably contradict their internal policing, where the investigation of terror is being hounded in the media as ‘obvious’ or ‘just enough’ rather than strategic or proactive.<br><br>There is scope that the current and relative tranquility of settlers may be rousted as their established practices are now brought in to question or outlawed. Will this lead to civil unrest? Does the government have the will and the appetite to pursue illegal activity? Do the CSIS and Police resources have the capability to pursue illegal activity? <br><br>The culture and acceptance of Canada’s past lax immigration practices and societal tolerances have placed it in the present untenable position. It is recommended that the government is seen to take a robust and transparent lead in its approach to countering terrorism. <br> <br>References<br><br>Anti-terrorism Act, 2001. Retrieved 30 May 2011 from http://www.justice.gc.ca/antiter/home-accueil-eng.asp <br><br>Bell, S, 2007. Cold Terror: How Canada Nurtures and Exports Terrorism Around the World. Toronto: John Wiley and Sons Canada Ltd<br><br>Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Being Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982)". Electronic Frontier Canada. 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2011 from http://www.efc.ca/pages/law/charter/charter.text.html <br><br>Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1985, c. 24 (4th Supp.)". Department of Justice Canada. Act current to November 14, 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2011 from http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-18.7/FullText.html <br><br>Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, 1985. R.S. c. C-23, article 2c)<br><br>Collacott, M, 2006. Canada’s Inadequate Response to Terrorism: The Need for Policy Reform. Retrieved 26 June 2011 from http://immigrationreform.ca/doc/canadas-inadequate%20Response-to-terrorism-the-need-for-policy-reform-martin-collacott-fraser-institute.pdf <br><br>Crawford, A, 2011. National Police Services need funding fix: RCMP. Retrieved 26 June 2011 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/02/15/criminal-screening.html <br><br>CSIS 2000/04. International Terrorism: The Threat to Canada. Retrieved 9 May 2011 from http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/pblctns/prspctvs/200004-eng.asp <br><br>Cuddlington, W, 2010. RCMP says ‘Project Samosa’ suspects were preparing to build IEDs. Retrieved 22 June 2011 from http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/RCMP+Project+Samosa+suspects+were+preparing+build+IEDs/3441574/story.html <br><br>Desloges, A, 2011. International Terrorism in Canada: Facilitating Factors. Retrieved 26 June 2011 from http://centreforforeignpolicystudies.dal.ca/pdf/gradsymp11/Desloges.pdf <br><br>Duncan, James S & Ley, David, 1983. Place/culture/representation. Routledge. pp. 205–206. ISBN 0415094518. Retrieved 12 May 2011 from http://books.google.ca/books?id=XsINAAAAQAAJ&lpg=PA205&dq=multiculturalism%20and%20Pierre%20Elliott%20Trudeau&pg=PA205#v=onepage&q&f=true <br><br>Jager, E, 2011. O Canada. Retrieved 16 May 2011 from http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2011/5/16/main-feature/1/o-canada/r&jtahome <br><br>Parliament of Canada, 2001. Bill C-36: Criminal Code, Terrorism. Retrieved 26 June 2011 from http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2330951&Language=e&Mode=1 <br><br>Rights, Limits, Security: A Comprehensive Review of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Related Issues, 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2011 from http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2798914&Language=&Mode=1&Parl=39&Ses=1 <br><br>Saighal, V, 2003. Dealing with Global Terrorism: The Way Forward. Retrieved 22 June 2011 from http://www.vinodsaighal.com/dealing_with_terrorism.htm <br><br>Select Committee, 1999. Report of the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, January 1999. Retrieved 14 May 2011 from http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/361/secu/rep/repsecintjan99-e.htm <br><br>Wayland, Shara (1997). "Immigration, Multiculturalism and National Identity in Canada" (PDF). University of Toronto Department of Political Science. Retrieved 12 May 2011 from http://www.geography.ryerson.ca/jmaurer/030_108art/030Multiculturalism.pdf <br><br>World Bank, 2009. World Development Indicators. Retrieved 27 June 2011 from http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met_y=sp_pop_totl&idim=country:CAN&dl=en&hl=en&q=population+of+canada <br><br>Websites<br><br>https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ca.html <br>http://www.cbc.ca/news/ <br>http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/bts/rlfcss-eng.asp <br>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism_in_Canada <br>http://www.international.gc.ca/crime/terrorism-terrorisme.aspx <br>http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/index.asp?lang=eng&page=information&sub=publications&doc=sft-ddt/1999-eng.htm <br>http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx <br>http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/index-eng.htm#nsci<br>http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/RCMP+Project+Samossa+suspects+were+preparing+build+IEDs/3441574/story.html#ixzz1Q2imTlqZ <br>http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm <br>http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3090800,00.html <br>https://www.privacyinternational.org/article/about-anti-terrorism-policies-and-open-society <br><br>Glossary<br><br>APECAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation<br>ARFASEAN Regional Forum<br>ASEANAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam)<br>ATAAnti-terrorism Act<br>CSISCanadian Security Intelligence Service<br>FINTRACFinancial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre<br>G8Group of 8 (France, Italy, USA, Germany, Japan, UK, Canada, Russia)<br>HUMINTHuman Intelligence<br>ICAOInternational Civil Aviation Organisation<br>INSETIntegrated National Security Enforcement Team<br>IMOInternational Maritime Organisation<br>NATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation<br>OASOrganisation of American States<br>OSCEOrganisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe<br>P8Leading group of public pension funds<br>PSCPublic Safety Canada<br>RCMPRoyal Canadian Mounted Police<br>UKUnited Kingdom<br>UNUnited Nations<br>USAUnited States of America<br>WCOWorld Customs Organisation. <br><br>Background<br><br>Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world’s second largest country by total area. Canada’s common border with the United States to the south and northwest is the longest in the world.<br><br>Canada has been inhabited for millennia by distinctive groups of peoples, amongst whom evolved trade networks, spiritual beliefs and social hierarchies. <br><br>Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal, French, British and more recent immigrant customs have combined to form a Canadian culture. Canada has also been strongly influenced by that of its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States. <br><br>Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canadians have been committed to multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development domestically. Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the prime ministership of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s (Duncan & Ley, 1983: 205). <br><br>The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration (Wayland, 1997:33). Multiculturalism is reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982) and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Canadian Multiculturalism, 1984).<br><br>Canada’s population consists of the diverse ethnic groups including British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26% (www.cia-factbook.com).<br><br>Religion in Canada was derives from Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%), other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (2001 census). Canada’s population is estimated at 33.74 million (World Bank, 2009).<br><br>The three territories of Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories account for over a third of Canada’s area but have very few people. Canada’s population is concentrated in the areas close to the US border.

Related News

  • News Archive

    AABC Conference

    by msecadm4921

    Business has to fit in with police and not the other way around. So the annual Action Against Business Crime conference heard…

  • News Archive

    Lib Dem View

    by msecadm4921

    What the Lib Dems had to say about recent official quarterly crime statistics. Mark Oaten MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary said:…

  • News Archive

    Approved Operators

    by msecadm4921

    It is essential for any organisation to provide secure facilities for customers. Management is responsible for maintaining each area of their business,…

Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay on top of security news and events.

© 2024 Professional Security Magazine. All rights reserved.

Website by MSEC Marketing