S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 000918
C O R R E C T E D COPY//SUBJECT LINE//////////////////////////////////
EO 12958 DECL: 07/09/2018
TAGS PREL, PTER, MOPS, IR, PK, AF, CA
SUBJECT: COUNSELOR, CSIS DIRECTOR DISCUSS CT THREATS,
PAKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, IRAN
REF: A. OTTAWA 360 B. OTTAWA 808 C. OTTAWA 850 D. OTTAWA 878
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Classified By: PolMinCouns Scott Bellard, reasons, 1.4 (b) and (d).
¶1. (S/NF) Summary. Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Director Judd discussed domestic and foreign terror threats with Counselor of the State Department Cohen in Ottawa on July 2. Judd admitted that CSIS was increasingly distracted from its mission by legal challenges that could endanger foreign intelligence-sharing with Canadian agencies. He predicted that the upcoming release of a DVD of Guantanamo detainee and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr’s interrogation by Canadian officials would lead to heightened pressure on the government to press for his return to Canada, which the government would continue to resist. Judd shared Dr. Cohen’s negative assessment of current political, economic, and security trends in Pakistan, and was worried about what it would mean for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Canada has begun formulating an inter-agency Pakistan strategy, and CSIS had agreed to open a channel to Iran’s intelligence service which Judd has not yet “figured out.” (Septel will cover Dr. Cohen’s discussions regarding Pakistan and the OEF and ISAF missions in Afghanistan.) End summary.
¶2. (S/NF) Counselor of the Department of State Eliot Cohen and CSIS Director Jim Judd in Ottawa on July 2 discussed threats posed by violent Islamist groups in Canada, and recent developments in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (CSIS is Canada’s lead agency for national security intelligence.) Director Judd ascribed an “Alice in Wonderland” worldview to Canadians and their courts, whose judges have tied CSIS “in knots,” making it ever more difficult to detect and prevent terror attacks in Canada and abroad. The situation, he commented, left government security agencies on the defensive and losing public support for their effort to protect Canada and its allies.
Legal Wrangling Risks Chill Effect
¶3. (S/NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX
¶4. (S/NF) Judd derided recent judgments in Canada’s courts that threaten to undermine foreign government intelligence- Qthat threaten to undermine foreign government intelligence- and information-sharing with Canada. These judgments posit that Canadian authorities cannot use information that “may have been” derived from torture, and that any Canadian public official who conveys such information may be subject to criminal prosecution. This, he commented, put the government in a reverse-onus situation whereby it would have to “prove” the innocence of partner nations in the face of assumed wrongdoing.
¶5. (S/NF) Judd credited Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government for “taking it on the chin and pressing ahead” with common sense measures despite court challenges and political knocks from the opposition and interest groups. When asked to look to the future, Judd predicted that Canada would soon implement UK-like legal procedures that make intelligence available to “vetted defense lawyers who see everything the judge sees.”
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Terror Cases and Communities Present Mixed Pictures
¶6. (C/NF) Judd commented that cherry-picked sections of the court-ordered release of a DVD of Guantanamo detainee and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr (ref D) would likely show three (Canadian) adults interrogating a kid who breaks down in tears. He observed that the images would no doubt trigger “knee-jerk anti-Americanism” and “paroxysms of moral outrage, a Canadian specialty,” as well as lead to a new round of heightened pressure on the government to press for Khadr’s return to Canada. He predicted that PM Harper’s government would nonetheless continue to resist this pressure.
¶7. (C) The Director mentioned other major cases that also presented CSIS with major legal headaches due to the use of intelligence products in their development: Momin Khawaja has been on trial for his role in an Al Qaeda UK bomb plot since June 23 in the first major test of Canada’s 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act, and Canada’s ability to protect intelligence supplied by foreign government sources (ref D); the trial of the first of the home-grown Toronto 11 (down from 18) terror plotters, which is also now underway; and, the prosecution of XXXXXXXXXXXX.
¶8. (C) Judd said he viewed Khawaja and his “ilk” as outliers, due in part to the fact that Canada’s ethnic Pakistani community is unlike its ghettoized and poorly educated UK counterpart. It is largely made up of traders, lawyers, doctors, engineers, and others who see promise for themselves and their children in North America, he observed, so its members are unlikely to engage in domestic terror plots. He said that therefore CSIS main domestic focus is instead on fundraising and procurement, as well as the recruitment of a small number of Canadian “wannabes” of Pakistani origin for mostly overseas operations.
Pakistan and Afghanistan
¶9. (C) Turning to Pakistan, Counselor Cohen briefed his recent trip to Islamabad and Peshawar, noting his alarm at the degrading economic, political, and security situation there, and its implications for Pakistan, Afghan, and regional stability. Judd responded that Dr. Cohen’s sober assessment tracked with CSIS’ own view of Pakistan, and that “it is hard to see a good outcome there” due to that country’s political, economic, and security failures, on top of fast-rising oil and food prices. Canada does not have an explicit strategy for Pakistan, Judd said, but Privy Council Deputy Secretary David Mulroney (who leads the interagency on Afghanistan) now has the lead on developing one (septel). Dr. Cohen remarked, and Judd agreed, that it would be necessary to avoid approaching Pakistan as simply an adjunct to the ISAF and OEF missions in Afghanistan.
¶10. (S/NF) CSIS is far from being “high-five mode” on Q10. (S/NF) CSIS is far from being “high-five mode” on Afghanistan, Judd asserted, due in part to Karzai’s weak leadership, widespread corruption, the lack of will to press ahead on counter-narcotics, limited Afghan security force capability (particularly the police) and, most recently, the Sarpoza prison break. He commented that CSIS had seen Sarpoza coming, and its link to the Quetta Shura in Pakistan, but could not get a handle on the timing.
¶11. (S/NF) Judd added that he and his colleagues are “very, very worried” about Iran. CSIS recently talked to Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) after that agency requested its own channel of communication to Canada, he said. The Iranians agreed to “help” on Afghan issues, including sharing information regarding potential attacks. However, “we have not figured out what they are up to,” Judd confided, since it is clear that the “Iranians want ISAF to bleed...slowly.”
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¶12. (U) Dr. Cohen has cleared this message.
Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada
December 16, 2010
Canadian CSIS on Terrorism