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March 31, 2015

Why Harper is supporting ISIS?

Scott Stockdale

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Citing a policy of not commenting on "operational matters of national security," the Canadian government offered no further comment as Turkey's media published stories for several days recently - citing Turkish security sources - that claim a man now being held by Ankara on suspicion of smuggling three teenage London school girls into Syria last month was working for CSIS. The three girls were going to join ISIS.

Turkish media identified the suspect as Mohammed al-Rashed, a 28-year-old dentist from Syria, who according to A Haber - a pro-government news network based in Istanbul – tried to claim refugee status in another country before he came to the attention of the Canadian Embassy in Jordan.

The Istanbul-based Star newspaper published what it said were excerpts from Mr. al-Rashed’s interrogation by Turkish security services.

The newspaper said he told police he that not only was he working for Canadian intelligence and hoped to win Canadian citizenship, but that he contacted Canadian intelligence agents at the Jordan embassy and told them on Feb. 21 how he’d smuggled the British girls to Syria.

The Star reported documents containing alleged correspondence with CSIS were discovered on Mr. al-Rashed’s computer, as well as photographs of the passports of 20 people, including the three British schoolgirls, and surreptitious recordings of aspiring jihadists being transported to Syria.

A Canadian government source told the Star and other media outlets that the suspect was not “employed” by any Ottawa security department. But the same source would not reply when asked if the suspect was working for CSIS.

  1. According to the Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah Mr. al-Rashed said in his statement to Turkish police that when he asked Canadian officials for asylum in 2013, Canadian officials asked for information regarding ISIS' operations in return for citizenship. The newspaper released an excerpt   from Mr. al-Rashed's statement to Turkish police.

"While I was working in a hospital in Raqqa, I was collecting information from the wounded regarding ISIS operations. I was handing this information to Canadian Embassy in Jordan. In order to do this, I was going to Jordan via Istanbul and giving the information to Canadian Embassy officials recorded in my laptop. I was delivering passport information, baggage tags and other details of the ones who came (to join ISIS from abroad) to my embassy contacts. I was also transmitting information to the same place via Internet. Along with three missing girls, I had also sent the information of 12 people which I aided them to cross into Syria, to the Canadian Embassy. My aim was to learn which ways are being used by the ones who want to join ISIS and transfer this information to the Canadian government."

Mr. Rashed also said the cost of his plane tickets was covered by the Canadian Embassy in Jordan in exchange for receipts.

The Canadian ambassador to Jordan is Bruno Saccomani, a former RCMP officer who was once Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief bodyguard.

During his tenure with the RCMP and the Prime Minister’s office, Mr. Saccomani worked in close liaison with Canadian intelligence (CSIS). Mr. Harper hand-picked Mr. Saccomani for the job in 2013, over loud objections about his lack of diplomatic credentials. The embassy in Jordan is also responsible for Canada's operation against ISIS in Iraq.

Due to the nature of covert operations, one can only wonder what is really happening behind the scenes.

Writing on Global Research website, Michel Chossudovsky, an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, and Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) wrote:

“The role of Canadian intelligence (CSIS) allegedly operating out of the Canadian embassy in Amman in the smuggling of the three British girls into Syria to join the Islamic State is but the tip of the iceberg in the ongoing process of US-NATO sponsored recruitment and financing of terrorists ... In this case, we are dealing with a criminal act namely the smuggling of British teenage minors (allegedly facilitated with the support of CSIS) into the hands of a terrorist organization (ISIS), which just so happens to be supported covertly by US-NATO.”

It is telling that Canada has for the most part remained silent while other Western countries are criticizing Turkey for not doing more to stop the flow of foreign fighters into Syria, many of whom are joining ISIS.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Jason Kenney, speaking to reporters in Calgary said: “We don’t comment on allegations or operations about our intelligence agencies.”

NDP MP Paul Dewar said this embarrassing episode was an example of why Canada needs parliamentary oversight of our security agencies - especially given new anti-terror legislation (Bill C-51) currently before parliament.

Among other things, the new law would allow CSIS free rein to gather any information about any Canadian citizen without warrant; defines terrorist so vaguely that government can apply it to anyone who opposes its plans for economic development; allows police to detain citizens without charge for longer periods of time, and allow CSIS to break domestic and foreign laws in the interests of “security.”

The proposed increased powers for secret police, at home and abroad, do not come with any increase in independent oversight or democratic review. The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) which was mandated to oversee CSIS after the Office of the Inspector General was shut down by the Harper government in 2012, is stacked with Conservative Party patronage appointments – people who received their high-paying jobs due to their allegiance to Mr. Harper, not their ability to oversee CSIS's conduct at home and abroad.

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