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Cablegate: Canada: 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

DE RUEHOT #1578/01 3572136
P 222136Z DEC 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 120019

1. (U) During 2008 Canada secured its first convictions under
the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act. In September, a Toronto court
convicted a 20-year-old man, whose identity is protected by
the Criminal Youth Justice Act, for conspiring in a group
plot to bomb several Canadian targets, including Parliament
Hill, Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters, and nuclear
power plants. The individual faces as many as 10 years in
prison, but the court had not set a sentencing date at
year,s end. The man was among 18 arrests in 2006 in
connection to the alleged conspiracy. The government dropped
charges against seven alleged co-conspirators, but ten of the
accused awaited trial at year,s end. The remaining
individuals face charges including participation in alleged
terrorist training and terrorist financing. In a separate
trial in October, a Canadian judge convicted Momin Khawaja of
five charges of financing and facilitating terrorism and two
criminal code offenses related to building a remote-control
device that could trigger bombs. Police arrested Khawaja in
2004, accusing him of conspiring with a British al-Qaida (AQ)
cell in a thwarted London bomb plot in that same year.
Khawaja faces a maximum of two life terms, plus a consecutive
58 years at his sentencing on February 12, 2009. In both
cases, the judges upheld the constitutionality of Section 38
of the Canada Evidence Act, which allows Canada to protect
sensitive foreign government information from public
2. (U) Police in Quebec arrested Said Namouh in September in
connection with the arrest in Austria of three members of the
Global Islamic Media Front, an AQ-linked propaganda and
recruitment organization. Police charged Namouh with
plotting a terrorist attack against an unspecified foreign
country but found no direct threat to Canada. Namouh remains
in custody pending a January 31, 2009 bail hearing. Working
in cooperation with French authorities, in November Canadian
police arrested an Ottawa university instructor in connection
with the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue, which killed four
people. In June and October in separate immigration cases,
the Canadian Border Services Agency deported two alleged
&Basque Homeland and Freedom8 (ETA) terrorists back to
Spain to face criminal charges following a request from the
Spanish government.

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3. (U) Two important pieces of legislation that the
government introduced to Parliament in October 2007 met
different fates during 2008. One bill to amend the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow for continued
application of &security certificates,8 which have been in
use for several decades as a way to detain, pending
deportation, foreign nationals deemed to be a security
threat. The bill provided for a group of cleared &special
advocates8 to challenge the evidence on behalf of the
accused and for an initial judicial review of detainees in
the first 48 hours of arrest and at six month intervals.
Parliament passed this bill, which entered into force on
February 14, ahead of a February 23 deadline that the
Canadian Supreme Court had imposed after ruling that the
government's use of secret evidence in certificate
proceedings and detention reviews was unconstitutional. Five
individuals are currently subject to security certificates.
The government dropped one individual's certificate. The
government has released four of the certificate holders from
detention subject to conditions on their movement; one
individual under a certificate remains in custody. Legal
Qindividual under a certificate remains in custody. Legal
challenges to the security certificate regime are on-going.

4. (U) The second bill was part of a mandatory review of the
2001 Anti-Terrorism Act. Two provisions of the Act )
investigative hearings permitting police to apply for an
order requiring a witness to appear before a judge and answer
questions, and preventive arrest, whereby police may bring an
individual before a judge in the early stages of terrorist
activity to disrupt a potential terrorist attack ) had
sunset clauses and lapsed in February. Although the Senate
had passed this bill, the Commons had not when Prime Minister
Stephen Harper dissolved Parliament to hold a October 14
national election. The government has not made a public
commitment to reintroduce the bill in the new Parliament, and
the ruling Conservative Party did not include this
legislation in its election campaign platform. The
Conservative election platform did, however, pledge to pass
legislation allowing Canadians victims of terrorism to sue
state sponsors of terrorism for monetary damages.

5. (U) Under the statutory definition in Section 22 of the
United States, Canada does not provide safe haven to any
terrorist organization.

6. (U) On December 12, Canada and the United States renewed

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the bilateral agreement on emergency management cooperation,
updating a 1986 accord. It establishes the basis for mutual
assistance in sending supplies, equipment, emergency
personnel, and expert support in response to natural and
man-made incidents, including those related to terrorism. It
provides for integrated responses and relief efforts during
cross-border incidents. It delineates a comprehensive and
harmonized approach to emergency management and establishes a
framework for a joint response to emergent threats.

7. (U) United States-Canadian counterterrorism cooperation
took place in a number of established fora, including the
terrorism sub-group of the Cross Border Crime Forum, the
Shared Border Accord Coordinating Committee, and the
Bilateral Consultative Group (BCG). The BCG, which met in
January, brings together U.S. and Canadian counterterrorism
officials from over a dozen agencies on an annual basis to
coordinate policies on terrorism, to share information, and
to engage in joint counterterrorism training. Under the
auspices of the BCG, the United States and Canada broadened
cooperation on a joint Counterterrorism Defense Plan,
including a table top exercise in May.

8. (U) In Afghanistan, Canada's presence has grown to a
2,750-person battle group that is taking the fight to the
Taliban insurgency in Kandahar province as part of the
International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command
South. It also continues to provide a Provincial
Reconstruction Team for stabilization and development
efforts. Canada is leading a major initiative to improve
cross border coordination between Afghan and Pakistani
authorities, including police and military, and to enhance
the capacities of the units that work to secure the border
from insurgent and terrorist crossings. As of December,
Canada had lost 103 soldiers, one diplomat, and two aid
workers killed in Afghanistan. It has suffered the highest
proportion of casualties to troops deployed for any NATO
member in country. During the October national election
campaign, Prime Minister Harper re-affirmed that Canada's
combat role in Afghanistan will end in 2011.

9. (U) Canada helped other countries address terrorism and
terrorism financing with its Counterterrorism Capacity
Building Program, a $12 million a year program to provide
training, advice, and technical assistance to counterpart
agencies. Through this program, Canada provided assistance to
several countries in the Caribbean to draft new
counterterrorism legislation, intelligence training for
border officials on the Afghan-Pakistani border, and
financial intelligence training to officials in India.
Through its Cross Cultural Roundtable and Muslim Outreach
program, Canada has actively engaged its citizens in a
dialogue on a broad range of national security issues,
including terrorism. The Muslim Communities Working Group in
the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
continued its efforts abroad to enhance Canada's
relationships with the countries of the Muslim world,
focusing on the promotion of democratic governance,
pluralism, and human rights. Canada currently has two
projects under the Organization of American States, (OAS)
Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism: a capacity
building program on document security; and, fraud prevention
in El Salvador for all the countries of Central America, the
Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Canada sponsors projects on
combating identity theft as part of the OAS, Hemispheric
Security Group, port security in Jamaica, and hemisphere-wide
QSecurity Group, port security in Jamaica, and hemisphere-wide

10. (U) In December, Canada renewed formal counterterrorism
research and development (R&D) activities with the United
States by extending a 1995 Memorandum of Understanding. The
agreement between Canada's Department of Public Safety and
the U.S. Department of Defense allows the countries to pursue
joint technical requirements for combating terrorism across a
spectrum of activities, including chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear countermeasures, physical security
and blast mitigation, explosives detection, and
countermeasures for improvised explosive devices. Canada
also pursues science and technology goals with the U.S.
through the Public Security Technical Program, which began in

11. (U) During 2008, Canada significantly expanded and
refined its Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and
Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI).
The CRTI integrates people and knowledge from the Canadian
scientific, technology, law enforcement, national security,
public health, policy, and first responder communities to
pursue innovative approaches to counterterrorism through
CBRNE science and technology. The broad program is based on

OTTAWA 00001578 003 OF 003

an annual risk assessment and priority setting process and
covers areas including CBRNE detection and identification,
criminal and national security investigation capabilities,
emergency casualty treatment for CBRNE events, food safety,
public confidence, and socio-behavioral issues.

12. (U) In February, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
released a Mutual Evaluation on Anti-Money Laundering and
Combating the Financing of Terrorist Finance (AML/CFT) in
Canada. According to the report, Canada has strengthened its
overall AML/CFT regime since its last evaluation in 1997, but
Canada's regime was generally insufficient to meet FATF
recommendations. Following the FATF report, Canada in June
amended the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and
Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) to bring Canada more in
line with international standards, including the FATF,s.
The PCMLTFA amendments introduced a risk-based approach as a
key element of the compliance regime, allowing reporting
entities to asses their own vulnerabilities, identify high
risk areas, and allocate resources appropriately. The new
legislation also required new client identification and
record keeping for real estate agents and brokers, and
established a national registry of money service businesses
to bring transparency to the sector and ensure legal
compliance. In December, the government gave Canada's
financial intelligence unit the power to issue administrative
monetary fines in addition to assessing criminal penalties.

13. (U) In March, Canada charged an alleged Tamil Tiger
fund-raiser under the country's laws against raising money
for terrorists. Ontario resident Prapaharan Thambithurai
stands accused of raising money for the World Tamil Movement.
His trial is pending, and he remains free on bail. Canada
added the group to its list of designated terrorist
organizations in April 2006. In November, the Minister of
Public Safety announced that Canada had completed the
mandatory two year review of listed terrorist entities, and
decided that the forty-one entities previously on the list
should remain on the list.

14. (U) Embassy point of contact is political officer Kurt
van der Walde, telephone: 613-688-5242 or email:

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