Canada to probe allegations that ‘intelligence agent’ aided in human trafficking to ISIS
Trudeau’s comments followed a Wednesday report from the BBC detailing the activities of a man who allegedly smuggled multiple people to ISIS and shared their personal information with Canadian intelligence.
The BBC spoke to an unnamed senior intelligence officer from an unspecified country that is fighting ISIS, and obtained what they described as a “dossier” on the man BBC described as “an intelligence agent for Canada.” The dossier contained information from law enforcement and intelligence, the BBC said.
The BBC also spoke to Shamima Begum, one of the British schoolgirls who travelled to Syria to join ISIS in 2015 at the age of 15. Begum claimed that the man “organized the entire trip from Turkey to Syria,” according to the BBC, which said the interview was part of an upcoming podcast.
The BBC reports, citing documents they have seen, that the alleged intelligence agent claimed to “have shared Ms Begum’s passport details with Canada.”
Speaking on Wednesday during a press conference in Ottawa, in response to a question about the reporting, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Obviously we know we live in a particularly dangerous world, the fight against terrorism requires our intelligence services to continue to be flexible and to be creative in their approaches.
“But every step of the way they are bound by strict rules, by principles and values the Canadians hold dear including around the charter of rights and freedoms and we expect that those rules be followed,” he said.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) declined to comment as did the UK’s Met Police who said: “We do not comment on matters relating to intelligence.”
Begum was stripped of her British citizenship by then-British Home Secretary Sajid Javid on February 19, 2019 shortly after a reporter for the Times of London discovered her in a Syrian refugee camp.
In a statement, the Home Office then said it would not comment on individual cases. But a spokesperson added that the Home Secretary can deprive someone of their British citizenship “where it would not render the individual stateless.” It’s unclear whether Begum has citizenship of more than one country.
The lawyer of Shamima Begum’s family, Tasnime Akunjee, told CNN via a written statement on Wednesday that “In November, Shamima Begum will have a hearing in the SIAC [Special Immigration Appeals Commission] court, where one of the main arguments will be that when former Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Shamima Begum of her citizenship leaving her in Syria, he did not consider that she was a victim of trafficking.”
“If the BBC has evidence of a trafficking network, and Shamima Begum being a victim of that network, then it will certainly have an impact on the hearing in November,” Akunjee said.