Now that RCAF air strikes against ISIS have been ended we are learning more about the expanded Canadian intelligence contribution to the coalition that government has touted as an important part of our new, improved effort against the very bad guys (CSIS, our mainly domestic HUMINT service, will also be involved–and what about military intelligence?):
Canada’s electronic spy service to take more prominent role in ISIS fight
Canada’s electronic intelligence assets can be as disruptive to ISIS as CF18s, expert says
The Communications Security Establishment [website here], Canada’s electronic spy service, is set to play a more prominent role in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, The Canadian Press has learned.
Multiple sources familiar with the plans, speaking on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the matter, say the government is deploying a capability that only a “handful of countries” in the world can provide.
- CSE stops sharing data with partners
- Canada’s bombing mission against ISIS is over
- Wherry: Trudeau accused of stepping up and stepping back
CSE is part of the so-called “Five Eyes” community, along with the U.S. National Security Agency — the NSA [more on the Eyes here].
CSE spokesman Ryan Foreman acknowledged the agency is helping the Canadian Armed Forces under the umbrella of Operation Impact, the name of Canada’s anti-ISIL mission in the Middle East [webpage here, note “Mission Refocus”], but refused to discuss specifics.
“While we are proud of our contributions to CAF’s missions, CSE is obligated to respect the Security of Information Act, and cannot address specific operational questions,” Foreman said.
Details kept quiet
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has for weeks been signalling that the military will introduce a “more robust” intelligence-gathering regime, one that allies — chastened by the withdrawal of the six CF-18s — are happy to be bring to the fight.
Separately, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed Thursday that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service [website here] will also play a stepped-up role in the fight against the Islamic State, but he also refused to be specific.
“We are providing new and additional intelligence capabilities in the region and while by its very nature I cannot elaborate, CSIS will have a role to play,” Goodale said.
“It will certainly be an increased role to accomplish larger objectives.”..
It strikes me as just a tad odd the Minister Sajjan makes no detailed reference to the intelligence capabilities of the Canadian Forces themselves:
Meanwhile the latter part of this post gives detailed consideration to the–not recent–matter of CSIS’ foreign activities: