stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips
space
  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It
space
Click Here!


Breaking News

  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Golf, sponsored by Mazda

Subscribe to The Globe


Print Edition

  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists


  Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels


 Leisure

  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News


 Specials & Series

  All Reports...

space
United Way


Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's
 available on the site

space
  Web Advertisers
 An index of our
 advertisers

space

 Newspaper

  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions


 Web Site

  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

space
    

POSTED AT 2:35 AM EDT    Tuesday, May 28
space
Canada had hint of trouble pre-Sept. 11
space
  
  
Email this articlePrint this article

space  Advertisement
space



By STEVEN CHASE
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Ottawa — Both Canadian and foreign intelligence services had heard vague warnings before Sept. 11 that some kind of attack was coming, but nothing detailed enough to guard against, the head of Canada's counterterrorist agency said Monday.

"I think that everybody had warnings that something was coming. Nobody had any specific warnings and certainly we didn't," Ward Elcock, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told reporters after an appearance before a House of Commons committee on security.

The question of who knew what before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has gripped the United States recently after White House revelations that President George W. Bush received an analysis in August that mentioned al-Qaeda might be inclined to hijack planes.

Mr. Elcock did not elaborate on what Canadian officials knew before Sept. 11 but told a parliamentary committee on national security that CSIS's primary counterterrorism focus before the tragedy was already "Sunni Islamic extremism" such as al-Qaeda.

"The events of Sept. 11 ... only intensified existing investigations against Sunni extremists in Canada," Mr. Elcock told the committee.

He said most terrorists groups around the globe have followers here.

"Most of the world's terrorist groups, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, have adherents in Canada. Islamic terrorists from Algerian, Egyptian, Libyan and Somali groups also have sympathizers in Canada and it obliges us to deal with that reality," he said.

The CSIS director said that his agency's "more committed Sunni targets" have fought in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya and been schooled in Mr. bin Laden's terrorist camps. "Many of the people trained in those camps have since dispersed to 60 countries around the world, including Canada."

He said that while the risk of terrorist attack for Canada "has increased with our involvement in Afghanistan, the risk to Canada or Canadians abroad is not at the same level [as that of the United States]."

Mr. Elcock, whose agency is hiring about 300 new officers, declined to elaborate on the current threat from terrorism in Canada. "The words in [my] statement convey exactly what I think — I don't have a colour for you or a number." The United States has a colour-coded threat scheme for citizens.

He also said that CSIS hasn't uncovered any evidence to date of terrorist "sleeper cells" in Canada — despite the fact that an Ontario government minister last week said provincial police had monitored such a cell.

Ontario Public Security Minister Bob Runciman told reporters last Wednesday that the Ontario Provincial Police had tracked a "sleeper cell" connected to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, one which later left the province.

Mr. Elcock declined to comment on Mr. Runciman's comments but said that sleeper cells are a very specific type of terrorist cell that he hasn't come across yet in Canada.

"Sleeper cell is normally used to denote a group of people who have a specific purpose and are there to carry out that purpose at some point in the future, acting in a clandestine way until they are called upon to do so," he said. "I have not seen any such example in Canada to date, although one has to remain vigilant in respect of the possibility."

He told the committee that "Sunni extremists" in Canada are very tech-savvy.

"They take advantage of encrypted e-mails, cellphones and satellite communications. Those skills pose a real challenge for CSIS, and, indeed, intelligence services around the world ..."

Back to Home Page
Email this articlePrint this article
Subscribe to The Globe and Mail
Sign up for our daily e-mail News Update


7-Day Site Search

    

Print Edition



Today's Weather
space

Inside

Tony Blair
The friends who came in from the cold

Margaret Wente
It's time to test your ethical IQ!

Jeffrey Simpson
Roll out the pork barrel




space



Globe Poll


space
Is it time for Prime Minister Chrétien to resign?
Yes 
No 
space

space




space

Current Markets

Enter Canadian or U.S. stock symbol(s) or market index:
 
Stock symbol lookup

Sponsored by:
Merrill Lynch HSBC


S&P/TSX -.72 7667.03
DJIA +.00 10104.26
S&P500 +.00 1083.82
Nasdaq +.00 1661.49
Venture +2.11 1226.26
FTSE100 -32.80 5136.3
Nikkei +.07 11976.35
HSeng -62.05 11564.73
DJ Net +.00 43.22
Delayed 20 minutes. Help.



space
Canada Responds


We want to hear from you. Click here to participate in the Canada AM Daily Poll.



space

CTVNews

CTVNews
space
space

Morning Smile



For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program. -- Arnie Lind, Regina, Sask.



space
Exn.ca's Go Ape contest!


Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page