Canada’s Security Intelligence Service will be investigated with respect to its role in the Omar Khadr case:
The role of Canada’s spy service in the case of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr will come under scrutiny, according to a surprise announcement made by the Security Intelligence Review Committee Wednesday.
The Ottawa watchdog agency said it would conduct an in-depth investigation into the actions of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and prepare a report for early next year.
The committee (SIRC) is mandated to review the spy service at the request of the government or can independently choose to investigate a case. The statement issued Wednesday said the investigation was at the initiative of the SIRC.
“Parliament and the people of Canada must have confidence that the Service is carrying out its duties and functions appropriately, effectively and in accordance with the law,” SIRC chair Gary Filmon said in the statement. “This review will help to illuminate these issues in respect to Mr. Khadr.”
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The Security Intelligence Review Committee is an independent body charged with the task of overseeing CSIS:
The Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) is an independent agency of the government of Canada empowered to oversee and review the operations of Canada’s security service, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and investigate complaints against CSIS. SIRC was established in 1984 as a result of the reorganization of Canadian intelligence that also saw the creation of CSIS. This reorganization was recommended by the McDonald Commission investigating the former security service of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which was found to have engaged in illegal activities.
SIRC’s role is to review the activities of CSIS to ensure that the extraordinary powers granted the security service are “used legally and appropriately, in order to protect Canadians’ rights and freedoms.”
SIRC is made up of five members appointed by the federal government. The committee meets monthly with its day-to-day operations being handled by an executive director.
The current members of SIRC are:
Due to the sensitive material SIRC members are required to handle, members of the committee are sworn into the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, if they are not already members, in order to put them under the provisions of the Security of Information Act.