What is CSIS, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service?

William Diaz-Berthiaume takes a look at Canada's federal intelligence agency ahead of much-anticipated testimony from intel officials at the Public Order Emergency Commission.

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“Our vision: A safe, secure and prosperous Canada, through trusted intelligence and advice.”

That's the slogan that's written on the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's website. And over the past few weeks, you've probably heard us here at Rebel News talk about CSIS in relation to the Freedom Convoy protest and more.

But what exactly is CSIS, anyway?

CSIS is Canada's anti-terrorism and intelligence agency. It manages the country's national security; it collects data and information to better understand the risks of foreign and domestic terror threats; it informs police and governments to assist them, notably with counter-terrorism operations. The organization also conducts operations within Canada and abroad.

With regard to the Freedom Convoy, CSIS was a major factor when it came to compiling intelligence during the protest, collecting a large pool of data on the protesters, their behaviours, their plans and more.

For nearly a month, the Emergencies Act inquiry, organized by the Public Order Emergency Commission, has been investigating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's use of this extraordinary piece of legislation. Trudeau invoked the act — which had never been used before — as a means to crush the Freedom Convoy, which had been peacefully protesting COVID-19 mandates and restrictions in the nation's capital for four weeks.

Now, the inquiry has provided us the opportunity to hear evidence showing CSIS’ analysis of the convoy and other protests across the country. In direct relation to the Trudeau government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, the intelligence agency warned officials that invoking the act might “radicalize protesters and push them to violence.”

CSIS warned the Liberal cabinet of this analysis on Feb. 13, just one day prior to Parliament invoking the act anyway.

Legislators were warned by the intel service that using an extreme measure like the Emergencies Act would “likely increase the number of Canadians who hold extreme anti-government views,” and that the Trudeau government's reaction would “push some toward the belief that violence is the only solution to what they perceive as a broken system and government.”

Another thing we learned during the inquiry is that CSIS director David Vigneault, despite originally being of the belief that the convoy was a fully domestic protest and nothing more at its genesis, became concerned with foreign interference. Vigneault explained how he thought the convoy had been infiltrated by “other” elements from causes that were likely to use violence.

At that time, Vigneault suggested the convoy might have been infiltrated or might be undergoing foreign interference. He even said the convoy received a large amount of support from the United States.

Starting next week, between Nov. 14–18, we will hear testimony from CSIS at the Public Order Emergency Commission.

This testimony will be of importance because we will hear high-level and very relevant intelligence officials testify, hopefully providing more details as to whether or not this anti-terrorism organization in charge of Canada's national security had concrete evidence suggesting the convoy was some sort of domestic terrorist movement.

Unfortunately for viewers, CSIS has been granted at least three hours of closed-door testimony due to potential national security threats. The request for this private hearing was made by the Government of Canada and was accepted by the inquiry's commissioner, Paul Rouleau.

In the meantime, make sure you stay tuned to this important hearing and follow along with all of Rebel News' reporting at TruckerCommission.com.

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