Reaction: Canada considering expanding powers of its security agencies23/10/2014 18:44
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) released a report earlier this month, saying it had identified ninety radicalized Canadians who were either trying to leave Canada and fight for the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, or planning to launch terrorist attacks in Canada.
One of the radicals identified by CSIS was Martin Rouleau-Couture, a Quebecer who had converted to Islam and had already attempted to travel Iraq to fight with ISIS there. On Monday, he used his car to drive over and kill a veteran member of the Canadian forces in an attack near a Quebec military base, before being shot dead by the police.
The Guardian reports that security analysts in Canada say that the two attacks – the one on Monday, and yesterday’s attack on the parliament — constitute a spectacular failure for CSIS, which had claimed to be protecting the country against a range of terrorist threats.
The national threat level was raised on Tuesday, but security experts say there appeared to be no serious tightening of security measures near parliament. Earlier this month, the director of CSIS said in a parliamentary hearing that domestic terrorist threats were real, but not imminent.
The Globe and Mail reports that the Harper government is considering legislation which would expand the powers of CSISto investigate, apprehend, and detain homegrown terrorists.
CSIS wants the power to take advantage of the so-called “Five Eyes” spy network to which Canada, the United Kingdom, America, Australia, and New Zealand all belong. CSIS is also asking for more power to track Canadians believed to have been radicalized, and to take more advantage of anonymous sources.