Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Annual Report 2006–2007 of the Security Intelligence Review Committee

The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), the external review body which reports to the Parliament of Canada on the operations of Canada's spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), has made its most recent annual report available on its website:

"SIRC has two key functions. The first is to conduct in-depth reviews of CSIS activities to ensure that they accord with the CSIS Act and the various policy instruments that flow from it, and with direction from the Minister of Public Safety. The second is to receive and investigate complaints by any person about any action of the Service (...) The report's three sections are":

"Section 1: A year in review 2006–07
This section summarizes nine reviews SIRC completed during the period covered by this report. It also provides information about five complaint reports issued by SIRC".

"Section 2: CSIS accountability mechanisms
Featured in this section are descriptions of the policy and governance framework within which CSIS operates. This section also contains information provided by CSIS on operational activities, plans and priorities, organized according to the Service's major branches".

"Section 3: About SIRC
This section provides details about the outreach, liaison and administrative activities of SIRC, including its annual budget and expenditures".
The report contains a special section analyzing the treatment of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a Canadian citizen, who is an admitted al Qaida member and leader of a terrorist cell that planned to bomb the American and Israeli embassies in Singapore and Manila.

CSIS officials travelled to Oman and arranged for Jabarah's return to Canada and subsequent transfer to the United States. He apparently could not be charged with a crime under Canadian law. In the U.S., he pleaded guilty to a number of terrorism-related offences.

While acknowledging that Jabarah is a terrorist whose actions are "despicable", SIRC found that he was arbitrarily detained by CSIS in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Furthermore, his rights to silence, to legal counsel and to remain in Canada were breached.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm

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