Canada’s spy agency is expected to be given new powers to stop would-be Canadian jihadists before they leave the country as part of sweeping new anti-terrorism measures being unveiled Friday.
Sources familiar with the proposed legislation tell CBC News the goal is to give the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service the kinds of legal tools that are available to intelligence services in other Western countries.
The expected new powers would allow CSIS agents to obtain court orders to:
cancel plane or other travel reservations made by Canadians suspected of wanting to join the Islamic State or other extremists groups overseas;
block any financial transactions linked to suspected terrorist activity;
intercept shipments of Canadian-made equipment or material to Canadian individuals or groups that could be used in an attack;
switch, or make suspect equipment being shipped unusable as part of an on-going investigation.
Under existing law, CSIS must rely on the RCMP to do these things, and government officials say that can lead to costly delays and, in some cases, an inability to act because the RCMP requires a higher standard of proof to arrest or detain suspects.
Work on the bill began immediately after the Oct. 22 attack on Parliament Hill by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.