The propaganda wing of ISIL, known for its gory videos and exploitation of social media, has recruited several Canadians into its ranks, a former senior counter-terrorism official told a security conference Wednesday.
Andy Ellis, who recently retired from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, where he was Assistant Director of Operations, said not all of the roughly 100 Canadians who have converged in the region are active in combat operations.
“Many of the Canadians, for example, found their way into the propaganda wing of Daesh,” the 30-year-veteran of CSIS said, using another name from ISIL, in a speech at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto.
“I would argue that would be equally as dangerous, maybe more, than someone who is joining the military wing. A lot of these young Western adherents to Daesh are put on the frontlines and die very quickly. Someone who is working in the propaganda wing can hurt us over and over and over again.”
Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, and nearly a year before terrorists killed 130 in coordinated strikes that rocked the City of Light, French security officials rejected an Israeli company’s offer of terrorist-tracking software that could have helped them flag the deadly terror cell, a security expert said.
The offer of data-mining technology that would allow French authorities to “connect all the dots” in the Islamist extremist community was made to the Directorate-General for Internal Security, France’s main intelligence agency. It is used to analyze and match up fragmented intelligence reports from several national and international databases, giving counter-terrorism agents the most up-to-date information on potential terrorists available.
The overture was rejected.
“French authorities liked it, but the official came back and said there was a higher-level instruction not to buy Israeli technology,” a well-placed Israeli counter-terror specialist familiar with the technology and the company behind it told FoxNews.com. “The discussion just stopped.”
Hamas in the West Bank claimed responsibility Wednesday for the bus bombing in Jerusalem on Monday that left 20 wounded. The acknowledgment came after health officials in Gaza published a statement saying the Palestinian man who died Wednesday of wounds sustained in the bombing was a member of the group and was responsible for the attack.