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Canadian military deploys spooks against possible Arctic spies and sabotage

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Canadian military deploys spooks against possible Arctic spies and sabotage


The Hamilton Speculator
By Murray Brewster
11 January 2015

Ottawa — The Canadian military has been routinely deploying a counter-intelligence team to guard against possible spying, terrorism and sabotage during its annual Arctic exercise.

The move is unusual, in the view of intelligence experts, because Operation Nanook is conducted on Canadian soil in remote parts of the Far North, and foreign involvement is limited to friendly, close allies.

Wesley Wark, a University of Ottawa professor, says it's also curious because guarding against such threats at home is usually the purview of either the Canadian Security Intelligence Service or the RCMP.

A spokesman for the military's intelligence branch says the team has been deployed every year since 2008, which is two years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper began attending the military exercise with members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery in tow.

The only regular foreign media presence on those trips has involved the Chinese, including the country's official news service and — in 2013 — a representative of a major daily, both of whom are accredited members of the gallery in Ottawa.

Capt. Travis Smyth said the military intelligence branch has a legal responsibility to protect the Forces and the Arctic exercise, but would not say what potential threats were posed in the remote region, citing it as an operational security matter.

The Canadian Press

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