Monitoring Threats

Security chief tries to reassure voters

National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas told a parliamentary committee March 1 that while concerns about Chinese interference in Canada’s electoral processes are understandable, “the last two federal elections were fair and legitimate.” Amidst calls for a public inquiry, she also said the government is taking “concrete steps” to address the concerns. [node:read-more:link]

Hindu nationalism in Canada

A report commissioned by the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the World Sikh Organization says that a Hindu nationalist paramilitary movement, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is entrenched in influential circles within the Indian diaspora in Canada. Co-author Steven Zhou, who works for the Ottawa-based National Council of Canadian Muslims, says RSS “is supremacist at its root and relegates the minorities of India into second-class citizens.” [node:read-more:link]

Brazil arrests security chief

Anderson Torres, formerly the public security chief in Brasília, has been arrested by Brazil’s federal police. Torres ostensibly was in charge when thousands of rioters stormed key government buildings in the capital January 8. He is accused of failing to act against the rioters and beind in collusion with them. [node:read-more:link]

Emergencies Act had CSIS support

The federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with “freedom” protests in Ottawa and at two border crossings last February was supported by Canadian Security Intelligence Director David Vigneault. Testifying today before commission of inquiry into the decision, he said that while the blockades did not meet the agency’s technical definition of a national security threat, he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the evolving situation “required” action. [node:read-more:link]

CBSA received PM death threat

The Canada Border Services Agency received a death threat against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and inquiries about how to import bullets during last winter's “Freedom Convoy.” Former CBSA President John Ossowski told the Emergencies Act inquiry November 16 that the threats showed up on its online “contact us” form. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese “police stations” investigated

The RCMP is investigating Chinese “police stations” in Canada after a human rights group reported that three in the Greater Toronto Area were among more than 50 worldwide supposed set up to help expatriates with issues in Canada but which also have convinced some to repatriate. “It's completely illegal under international law,” a Safeguard Defenders official said. “It's a severe violation of territorial sovereignty.” [node:read-more:link]

Anti-Trudeau demonstrator sentenced

An Ontario man who pled guilty to uttering a threat against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a 2021 federal election campaign stop was sentenced today to a two-month conditional sentence, a year’s probation and 100 hours of community service. [node:read-more:link]

Government warned about “freedom” backlash

Intelligence officers warned the government that if police were used to disperse the “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa earlier this year, according to a redacted memorandum made public through an Access to Information request. The February 24 “threat highlight” advised that extremist “influencers” would leverage the outcome of the protests for recruitment and propaganda and that ideologs likely would “encourage violent revenge or as further evidence of government ‘tyranny’.” [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers attack on broad front

Microsoft reports that state-backed Russian hackers have engaged in “strategic espionage” against governments, think tanks, businesses and aid groups in 42 countries which have sided with Ukraine against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s so-called “special military operation.” Nearly two-thirds of the targets have been NATO members, notably the U.S. and Poland, and the hackers’ activities have included unrelenting cyberattacks against Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Dire warning about electoral interference

Yves Côté has ended his 10-year term as Commissioner of Canada Elections with a warning that disinformation and foreign interference are two key threats to the country’s electoral system. “There are all kinds of challenges that are lurking and some of them are becoming perhaps worse as we move on with time,” he says, calling on “politicians of all stripes, of institutions, of media, of academics . . . to pull together and say this is a danger.” [node:read-more:link]

Truck convoy organizer warns extremists

A key player behind the convoy travelling to Ottawa to protest a coronavirus vaccine mandate for truckers is trying to damp down increasingly extremist online rhetoric associated with the protest. With convoy is expected to arrive at Parliament Hill over the weekend, Tamara Lich turned to social media Jan. 25, asking that “if you see participants along the way that are misbehaving, acting aggressively in any way or inciting any type of violence or hatred, please take down the truck number and their licence plate number so that we can forward that to the police.” [node:read-more:link]

NS testing for blue-green algae toxins

Responding to the deaths of two dogs on Wednesday and one person being hospitalized after being in Grand Lake, the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change is testing water samples taken from Grand Lake and Fish Lake, near the Wellington and Enfield areas, for two types of toxins produced by blue-green algae. [node:read-more:link]

Iran’s nuclear record faces new questions

The International Atomic Energy Agency said May 31 that Iran has failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites. The UN agency’s report potentially sets up for a new diplomatic clash which could derail negotiations to get an international accord back on track. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP profiling with social media

The RCMP has confirmed that it uses information posted on social media to profile persons of potential interest. It is responding to concerns expressed by a Toronto woman who learned that she had been profiled after showing up at a leadership debate during the 2015 election campaign, but who was eventually found to be doing nothing illegal. The RCMP says it acknowledges the constitutional right to peaceful protest but says due diligence is required to ensure there is no public safety issue. [node:read-more:link]


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