Wednesday, May 10, 2006

CSIS: A Terrrorist Attack Is 'Now Probable'

Our forces on duty in Afghanistan have come under attack and now the head of Canada's spy agency is waving a yellow flag about a possible attack here... on home soil.

CSIS director Jim Judd says he still believes the strongest threat remains overseas but now he concludes in a report that an attack here is "probable" and maintains in his annual report to the public safety minister, that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's highest priority involved trying to prevent assaults occurring in, or originating from, Canada.

Judd's report says the spy service's counter-proliferation branch, which tries to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, "continued to investigate Shiite and state-sponsored terrorism,'' as well as the activities of certain unnamed foreign governments. The report also stresses the service's involvement in security screening, namely the vetting of visitors to Canada, refugee claimants, immigrants, prospective citizens and employees who work at sensitive government jobs and installations such as nuclear plants and airports.

According to Judd, the increased probability of a terror attack most likely has nothing to do with our military role in Afghanistan. Instead, the prognosis actually comes from an annual report compiled last November.

If only I could be a fly on the wall! But according to Ottawa's acting national security advisor, Stephen Rigby, government officials are tring to anticipate when and how the attacks will unfold and that the government is maintaining "a very high degree of vigilance'' with respect to al-Qaida.

One possibility is on the transit system, like the attacks on commuters in London and Madrid, but Transport Canada's John Forster said in a meeting sponsored by the Conference Board of Canada, that transportation systems have figured in one way or another in almost every major terrorist attack during the last 30 years.


At 11:06 AM, Blogger Red Tory said...

I think that putting ourselves in the position as proxies for the Americans in Kandahar province has likely increased the enmity of Al Queda towards Canada, not that we were exempt from it in the past. I would however defer to the opinion of the head of CSIS that this will not be the primary motive for an act of terrorism within Canada. But in saying that, it would seem to invalidate one of the key reasons stated by the government for fighting in Afghanistan; that is, the discredited “flypaper strategy” (i.e., fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here).

So we have a bit of a dilemma on our hands. Does our involvement in Afghanistan make us safer at home (by fighting the terrorists over there) as Hillier and military claim, or does it invalidate the key reason for being in Afghanistan as would be suggested by the remarks of Mr. Judd?

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

My words exactly.


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