Document speaks volumes about how CSIS works

In June 2005, shortly after Charkaoui was released from prison in Montreal, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), issued a three-page report called, "Islamic Extremists and Detention: How Long Does the Threat Last?".

Short on facts and long on generalizing assertions, the report speaks volumes about the kind of assumptions made by the Canadian spy agency, not to mention the kind of slipshod work that passes muster in this agency.

John Norris, one of the lawyers for the Toronto security certificate detainees, showed in court that one of the sentences from the reported is in fact lifted directly from an article that was published in the Washington Post, "Released Detainees Rejoining the Fight" (22 October 2004).

Not only was the word-for-word quote unattributed, it had been taken out of context in an entirely misleading way.

The CSIS document, following the Post, reads, "At least 10 detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay prison after US officials concluded they posed little threat have been recaptured or killed fighting US or coalition forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and one of the repatriated prisoners is still at large after taking leadership of a militant faction in Pakistan and aligning himself with AL QAEDA."

But it fails to note that, as the Post goes on to explain, "The 10 or more returning militants are but a fraction of the 202 Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been returned to their homelands."

This would no doubt have tended to counter the main thesis of the CSIS report that, "Given the nature of the ideology imparted, those who spent time in these camps do not, as a rule, choose to abandon their cause."

The full CSIS report can be downloaded here.