Public broadcaster CBC has obtained documents indicating Canada’s spy agency and police cooperated with Syrian military intelligence. Three Canadians were arrested and allegedly tortured following the 9/11 attacks.
Three Canadians were listed as suspects: a Syrian-born electrical engineer, a truck driver and a principal at an Islamic school in Toronto. The three men were arrested by Syrian military intelligence during trips abroad from 2001 to 2004, suspected of Al-Qaeda links.
All three men returned to Canada and upon doing so accused Canada of aiding and abetting the foreign security forces that carried out the torture. The claims included allegations that Canadian authorities shared intelligence with their Syrian counterparts, and gave them questions to put to the detainees.
The trio continues to maintain their innocence and they have brought a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the government in Ottawa.
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale declined to comment on this latest information in the case, citing the lawsuit brought by the three men.
In 2008 an independent inquiry concluded that Canada’s spy agency and federal police force had been “indirectly” responsible for the three men’s mistreatment.
The case is scheduled for trial next year.
The revelations come after Goodale said Canada had continued to use foreign intelligence that may have been derived from the use of torture in some cases, if there was an “imminent security threat.”
Although CSIS was ordered to stop doing so in 2009 following a public outcry, the following year a ministerial directive made exceptions for “exceptional circumstances.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is reviewing those security protocols.
bik/jm (CBC, AFP)